NEW BOOKS = Red Spike: adrenaline-augmented army of two

RED SPIKE #1 (of 5):  (Image Comics/Benaroya Publishing)  Created by Michael Benaroya & Jeff Cahn.  Script: Jeff Cahn.  Art:  Salvador Navarro.  Color: Ifansyah Noor of Imaginary Friends Studio.  Lettering:  Josh Aitken.  Cover:  Mark Texeira.

Red Spike Preview-Cover

A smaller comics publisher (Benaroya) teams up with a larger company (Image) for distribution purposes to reach a larger potential audience.  They then offer the first issue at a bargain price ($1.00) and tie it into a Facebook promotion for additional exposure. 

Benaroya has developed  a new military action comic by utilizing some concepts from other popular series:  G.I. Joe, Robocop, A-Team, Josh Whedon’s Dollhouse, and the Cyborb film (to name a few).   Blend them together to create something that is fresh and new, yet familiar.   That’s RED SPIKE.  Is it worth your hard earned buck to check it out and see if you want to pick up this series?  Definitely. 

Like a well-made action movie - - RED SPIKE is just plain fun to read.  Several times.  I’m warming up to these two main characters  - - their hard-nosed attitudes are easy to accept  - - considering that some of their machismo may be intentionally integrated into their make-up - -  which seems implied here but I suspect will come to the foreground as this series progresses.

Matt and Greg are the product of years of federal government research, the first two involved in a project to create the perfect soldier.  Both have been surgically implanted with a cerebral regulator, adrenal gland augmenters, and a wrist meter that allows them to monitor their own adrenal levels during action.  They can produce large amounts of adrenaline in their bodies at will, enhancing their physical abilities  - -  especially speed, quickness of motion, and reaction times.

adrenaline-matt-character-final

As the issue opens the Red Spike team parachutes down into an unidentified military base, directly into a mass of armed soldiers - - in order to “wreck shop.”  As the team engage in their first assignment, the caption proclaims: “Most people would call this a suicide mission. . . . We call it Tuesday.”  It’s a fast-paced, detailed opening action sequence that allows artist Navarro to display his skills. He’s very good at combat scenes. The co-ordinated movements of the characters seem fluid and natural.  He’s also good at portraying the vast depth of a multi-leveled complex as the covert team moves inside for explosive results.

Cahn’s script is fast-paced, yet between the action he mixes in enough side plots and additional character reveals to keep the interest level high.  There is a romance brewing between Greg and agent Margaret Downing , which seems to be met with disapproval by the higher powers and may compromise her ability to perform her duties.  A deputy director in the White House has learned of the ultra-secret Red Spike project, which he considers “out of control” and aims to uncover and halt.  Greg is a little too competitive and aggressively impulsive during team assignments with Matt, and may have to receive a little  surgical “correction”.   These developments should keep readers returning for more.

Red Spike promotion May 04, 2011 001

All the covers for this series will apparently be painted by well-respected artist Mark Texeira.  The Facebook promotion will give the original cover artwork away, and reward a comics shop with some of the original production pages.  If you pick up a copy of issue #1 and post a picture of yourself holding the RED SPIKE book in front of your local comics shop to the RED SPIKE Facebook page, you’ll be entered into the contest/raffle.

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