Review – Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Kurtis Wiebe
Artwork: Alan Quah
Colours: Sean Lee
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 8th May 2019

The Hivebusters are a small team sent to infiltrate the heart of hives and plant explosives that spread a poison that takes out whole hives at a time. It’s incredibly dangerous work against suicidal odds and only the best survive. Mac, Lahni and Keegan are out for their first mission with a mission success likelihood of “it’s a suicide mission, it’s like tossin’ blind babies into a wood chipper…”

Back in 2006, Epic Games released Gears of War for the Xbox and it’s the reason I’ve always been an Xbox player. There have been five games in the series so far (not including the remastered Ultimate Edition) and a sixth game is slated for release this year. From what I can tell, this series is set either during or after Gears of War 4, set in Hawaii and based on a campaign being masterminded by the now aged, Colonel Hoffman.

Ok, cards on the table. This is not a great story. The pace is terrible, the dialogue is awful, the characters are forgettable and unlikeable and the character development in this issue is just… odd. After a bizarre group dream where one teammate envisages his partners as his parents, and for some reason his “Father” is shirtless throughout, we discover that his father is also his uncle, and apparently that’s only the beginning of the story…

Really? In an alien war/horror series, that’s the storyline you’re going to go with? The only character I recognise is Hoffman who seems to be portrayed in this story as a comedy uncle in a Hawaiian shirt.

The artwork is workmanlike, but there’s little consistency in the depiction of characters from panel to panel. Thankfully we’re only introduced to a few characters in this issue and each has at least one distinguishing feature (a Mohawk, a facial tattoo etc.), so it doesn’t become too confusing. Where possible background detail has been replaced with a flat matte background, and there’s a lack of real detail or depth to any of the artwork. The action sequences are lackluster and there’s a complete lack of any kind of dynamic movement even when our heroes are facing the combined forces of an entire hive.

I’m not 100% certain what the creative team were aiming for with this series but as a longtime fan of the game I can say with absolute certainty that I won’t be picking up issue two. Unfortunately, there’s no feeling at any point in this issue that anybody involved in its creation is here for anything other than a paycheck.

Rating: 1/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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