Freedom Formula #1 (ADVANCE)


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Freedom Formula #1 (ADVANCE)


  • Words: Edmund Shern
  • Art: Chester Ocampo & Kai
  • Inks: N/A
  • Colors: Mr. B
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Radical Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 6, 2008

Formula Infinity racing is the bread and circuses of a future era and caught up in it all is messenger Zee Faizer.

While one must admit that Radical Comics has certainly made a splash with their slick productions and splashy art, so far Freedom Formula suffers a bit from being too much like its name… formula. Writer Edmund Shern obviously has a background in science fiction and fantasy stories and movies because all of the usual clichés are here and we are treated to yet another variation on the Star Wars theme.

In a futuristic world the last great war was fought for "freedom" but now society has degenerated into corruption and the "haves" and the "have-nots". There are further splits between those who live in the humongous cities and those who live in the wastelands outside – scraping out a meager existence. Among those latter is Zee Faizer. Newly orphaned, Zee is looking to get out and get up in the world but he has one final duty – a last request from his father to deliver a data tape to an old friend in the city. Of course, that duty happens to coincide with the running of the immensely popular Formula Infinity race. Genetically altered pilots in exo-suits once built for combat and now designed for pure speed. Zee has a run-in that teaches him exactly why these suits are referred to as "Vicious Cycles" but that is nothing compared to the trouble his job for his father just might net him.

Really, there is nothing new under the sun here. A young, orphaned, male lead stranded in a backwater town who dreams of fortune and glory. A quest to deliver a mysterious message, a government that is corrupt and oppressive, a run-in with a beautiful young woman and hints that said young man may have talents and abilities beyond those of ordinary mortals. George Lucas did not invent the tropes of Star Wars but he arguably gathered together all the disparate elements into one package and popularized them. As can be seen from the above, Shern so far does nothing to make Freedom Formula rise above its roots or stand out from the crowd of other copycats over the years. Shern’s writing is solid though and he keeps up a good pace for his plot throughout the issue. The Vicious Cycles themselves have an interesting look and have a good idea behind them although they are not enough of a hook to keep the reader interested.

The art, however, is stunning. Chester Ocampo and Kai know how to work with the computer art and coloring effects generated by Mr. B. The action sequences jump off the page with a 3-D intensity and the whole package isn’t just widescreen action – it’s IMAX in comic book form. Sometimes they do, however, succumb to the temptation to do too much and the art can become a bit too busy to follow the action. Overall, though, the whole package plunks the reader down into the middle of this world.

While there is nothing outwardly bad about Freedom Formula, there is too much in the first issue that fans of sci-fi have probably read or seen a hundred times before. The second issue needs to step up the game and either provide some new variations or else dig deeper into the psyches of the characters involved. If not then this title will end up being just another pretty face.

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