By Dan Abnett, Federico Dallocchio and Chris Northrop
Hawken: Melee is based off of the on-line game and is a follow-up to the original graphic novel Hawken: Genesis. Each issue is a stand alone tale written by a different person, giving the reader the pleasure of seeing characters written from several different perspectives. What’s not to like?
They say that time slows down when you are in the process of dying. In the first issue of Hawken: Melee, Dan Abnett writes a story called “20 seconds.” An operator has taken tons of damage to her machine, but don’t fear, help is on the way, she just has to last 20 seconds. These will feel like the longest seconds of her life and she doesn’t have enough power to fight them off, or does she?
Dan Abnett has a pretty good track record when it comes to the realm of sci-fi, he did make the Guardians of the Galaxy relevant for Marvel. He does an excellent job of taking us through the time Nadine has to get her reinforcements. The pages and the seconds collide and they seem to flow very nicely. We almost jump into the story and feel the claustrophobia with Nadine as she fights for her right to stay alive. Abnett also does a good job of making us feel for a character that we don’t even see the face of. We are pulling for her to survive just long enough to get help and Dan is loving every minute of it.
This issue featured some pretty strong artwork by Federico Dallocchio. His panels were clean and there wasn’t any point where the reader would be confused. The way he lets us only see the bottom of Nadine’s mouth, and yet leaves the audience looking up to see the rest of her face is pretty genius too. The machines are all drawn well, and just different enough for us to notice. For a relatively unknown artist, he has made a strong impression.
Comics based off of video games tend to be pretty decent, and this is no exception. The story by Abnett and the great visuals by Dallocchio really help bring this book to life. For anyone who interested in the game, this is a must read, but if you are just interested in a good one-shot, this is worth a pick up too.