Carbon Grey: Origins #1


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Carbon Grey: Origins #1


  • Words: Paul Gardner, P. Tuinman
  • Art: Doug Mhan, K. Evans, Joffrey Suarez
  • Colors: Kinsun Loh
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Nov 22, 2011

The war has its heroes and villains on both sides, and Carbon Grey: Origins takes an art-aficionado's look through the pages of time to trace their histories.

Two girls attempt their escape. A warrior must save the Kaiser. A man on a mission requires a plane. These three stories further expand the world of Carbon Grey, but if you've never read that series, are they worth a read anyway?

Carbon Grey: Origins offers a substantial look at the back stories of characters seen in Image's main series. For someone who's never read Carbon Grey, it actually offers a decent insight to the world. However, you may be a little lost, akin to seeing a prequel movie without seeing the original. The Phantom Menace is a perfectly tolerable movie, but without the impact of the original three movies, there's less drama without knowing where these characters and plot lines will end.

While the writing is enjoyable, with a few unique quirks, such as the running diary in the first of the stories, the art is top-notch, justifying why this rather short series has already garnered a hardcover art book. The three tales in the book mainly split between two different elements; classic pop-culture Sunday funnies comic pages, and painted portraiture as seen in many foreign works, evoking Megacity 909 at times. Both styles work for their intended purposes, and effectively move the plot forward while treating the subject matter differently.

Reading the three plots in the book will have different effects for different readers. If you've read the original series, you may instantly find connections or revelations that make the story stand out or even seem humorous, explaining things you thought the wouldn't or couldn't be bothered to. Coming to the book with fresh eyes, though, you'll feel as if you're missing something. Namely, it comes in with the last panel of the book. A character asks for a plane. This seems like a joke towards the intended reader; did he first show up in a plane? Is he a noted pilot in the main book? Is he just always wanting to fly a plane?

Carbon Grey: Origins is a decent read, visually outstanding, but won't mean much to the novice reader. The main demographic for these side stories may get more out of it though. At its worst case, Doug Mhan, K. Evans, and Joffrey Suarez dominate the eye, while Paul Gardner and P. Tuinman leave novice readers happy, but wondering what they've been missing.

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