Review – The Approach #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writers: Jeremy Haun, Jason A Hurley
Artwork: Jesus Hervas Lea Caballero
Colours: Brett Weldele
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Release Date: 12th October 2022

Sometimes when picking up a new comic, and its only sometimes, one can get swept up in the story and look of the book. It’s not any one thing in particular. Sometimes, it’s a combination of mood, conversational tone or a drip drip of suspense; knowing everything isn’t quite right but not being able to put a finger on it. The Approach is one such book. From start to explosive finish, I was suckered in by this gripping new story.

Mac is your quintessential everyman hero. A firefighter, built like a truck, and stern but with a seemingly good heart. Abi is the newbie, learning the ropes and trying to maintain a positive outlook under tough circumstances. It’s late and the snow is coming down heavier than anticipated. Cue an unexpected shift at the local airport to help clear a runway and aid some stranded passengers until the snowstorm passes. As if this wasn’t enough, a Cessna makes a dramatic appearance through the snow and leads to yet more calamity.

Haun, Hurley et al manage to take a lot of well-worn ideas and craft something which I couldn’t help but be engaged with. It has all the hallmarks of a classic disaster movie combined with the eerie remoteness of an isolation thriller. I have to stress what I’ve said earlier about being swept up in this, as those established tropes and familiarity breed, or at least foster, a clawing gnawing sense of unease. Despite The Approach being a solid read throughout anyway, the end, which is not so much a twist as a screeching detour off the rails, hits so much harder. The “To be continued…” ever so frustrating.

The plot and writing keep this moving well, with the subject matter being dealt with quite lightly and in a believable, conversational tone between the protagonists. Believable, that is, in a ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ kind of way. Ably delivered by Dukeshire’s letters, this issue never feels too wordy or lacking exposition.

All of this is no doubt helped in a big way by the consistent art throughout. The overall design seems like a good choice with The Approach shying away from trying to be too realistic while still maintaining a gritty vibe none-the-less. The characters are memorable, and the bleak winter landscapes and almost desolate airport scenes, elicit all the right feelings to keep this working. I’m a big fan of world building and little details in the background of panels so I was pleased that despite an almost minimalist appearance at first look, one could find plenty of depth. Perhaps my only niggle was that we were allowed to linger on the last panel. Almost counter-intuitively, I would have preferred someone to snatch the book out of my hands at that point!

Not every book is for every reader. There will no doubt be those that will find some of the things I enjoyed about this perhaps a little staid. All I can say for certain is that I got the wright kind of chills reading this.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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