Review – Terrorwar #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Pencils: Dave Acosta
Inks: Jay Leisten
Colors: Walter Pereyra
Letters: Shawn Lee
Release Date: 19th April 2023

As Image Comics debuts go, Saladin Ahmed’s script for the first issue of Terrorwar must surely be viewed as a major triumph, with the Eisner Award-winner’s sci-fi storyline instantly immersing its audience in a desperately declining world writhing with mind-bending monsters and Muhammad Cho’s underpaid crew of freelance contractors. Indeed, in many ways the premise of the last liveable place on Earth being plagued by creatures created from the fears of its struggling population seems admirably evocative of Pat Mills’ anti-authoritarian heyday when “the godfather of British comics” was contributing to titles such as 2000 A.D., Starlord and Crisis.

Foremost of this book’s hooks has to be the swiftness in which the lead protagonist’s selfless character, evident bravery and enchantingly deadly day-job are all firmly cemented with the audience. So many modern-day authors would likely have taken this entire twenty-eight-page periodical to painfully establish such complex subjects. But instead of wasting time, the Detroit-born writer simply grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and takes them on a roller-coaster of a ride across Blue City where at any moment a person might be horrifyingly immolated by a giant green cartoon caricature fresh from a kid’s television show.

In addition, despite all the futuristic shanty-town’s evident woes and decidedly deadly dangers, Ahmed also imbues his dystopian society with the very worst elements of capitalism – such as the way its inhabitants are forced to watch “Motivids” at precisely the same time during their daily routine unless they pay to have them turned off. This obsession with financial gain and a desperate desire to buy a person’s way out of Cho’s bad neighbourhood is persistently referred to throughout the plot, and neatly helps establish those within the considerably-sized cast who are motivated by greed (or at least material wealth) and those, like Mister Etienne, who freely feed half the block from their kitchen.

Equally as engaging as this comic’s narrative is Dave Acosta’s prodigious pencilling, which helps permeate the downtrodden metropolis with an almost overwhelmingly grim and depressing atmosphere. Those bibliophiles acquainted with Ridley Scott’s vision of Los Angeles/Ridleyville in his 1982 film Blade Runner should certainly find themselves in a familiar environment, courtesy of the illustrator’s well-rendered panels. However, Acosta impressively ratchets up his work to an entirely different level when it comes to him sketching a giant Second World War American zombie who threatens to consume the pit workers toiling underground in Cadmium Mine Twelve.


The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric ‏
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: