Review – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes #1 (of 4) (Dynamite)

SplinterCell01-Cov-LamingPublisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Marc Laming
Released: 2nd July 2014

Ah, the Splinter Cell franchise – one for closet serial killers everywhere; all the fun of murdering a bunch of people whilst hiding in the shadows, none of the legal paperwork. Sam Fisher, the series’ protagonist has also, somehow, gone one to become something of a video game icon – those three green lights shining out of the dark, whilst hardly appropriate for stealth, becoming associated not only with him, but with the franchise as a whole. The question would be, how well do Mr Fisher’s mildly sociopathic stealth activities translate to our beloved sequential art?

The answer? Rather well indeed.

The best part is Nathan Edmondson’s authentic script, and given that he’s the man behind the enormously enjoyable recent run of Black Widow, I honestly wouldn’t’ve expected less. In almost classic spy-noir style, it starts in medias res with Sam getting the shit beaten out of him by some Georgian terrorists, and quite why and how that’s happened is then subsequently passed along in flashback.

The art is solid, and only really remarkable in its unremarkableness – whilst you can’t fault the skill required to get this story successfully told, it’s exciting and interesting for its plot points, rather than for their delivery. The action is perhaps a little stop-start, but it’s easy to overlook thanks to the story’s strength. There is one nice touch, in that the comic’s letterer – who remains unnamed, strangely – references the last two games’ style by overlaying expositional text on top of the scenery, a cute nod to its source material.

As a Splinter Cell enthusiast, I found a lot to like in this book – the story is well paced, Sam’s personality is nicely captured (his dialogue even plays in Michael Ironside’s voice, such is the appropriately gritty edge), and the art gets the job done, much like our hero. Given how often video games struggle to adapt to other mediums of story-telling, this book is something of a welcome surprise, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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