Overview

Magnitude #2

Review

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Magnitude #2

Credits

  • Words: Greg Waller
  • Art: Axel Gimenez
  • Inks: Greg Waller
  • Colors: Greg Waller
  • Story Title: Mission
  • Publisher: Ape Entertainment
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 31, 2007

The former hero Combatant takes his first steps toward enslaving the world and the one man who might stop it all lies comatose...

Magnitude is, quite possibly, the most dramatic and intense title to hit the stands in a long time. Writer Greg Waller let readers know, with the very first issue, what the stakes would be and they have started out high.

At the orders of his masters, the Combatant completes his transformation from hero to villain. As he enslaves a city he also makes plans to incapacitate Earth’s other heroes by releasing all of the captured supervillains. All except one, that is and that one will figure into a plan that is truly frightening in its scope. Meanwhile, other heroes have found the time tossed Magnitude and are now helping to restore him to health. With the very future at stake, it is the heroine Skygirl who may hold the key to getting Magnitude back in shape. The question is... can she do it in time?

Despite being the second issue in, the titular hero actually appears very little in this story. Surprisingly, that is a good thing! Waller takes the time to focus here on the villain (and former hero) and by doing so the threat and the feeling of dread ratchets up to an unbelievable high. Part of this is due, as well, to the nature of the Combatant as a villain. Comic book readers are well accustomed to the megalomaniacs out to rule the world but Combatant is a horse of a different color – a being that is genetically incapable of disobeying the orders of his superiors. He becomes as cold, clinical, compassionless, and efficient as a robot – and that is what makes him all the more frightening. There are no histrionics here, there is no hint of humanity left... only something unreasonable and unable to be reasoned with and there is nothing more chilling than that in an enemy. The reader can feel the weight of sacrifice coming – that this will be a battle that will cost more than can be imagined but the cost of failure is far worse. Waller’s writing stretches the tension to the breaking point and that is a very good thing.

The one drawback here is perhaps the problem of a bit of a disconnect. Waller has created a whole world here populated with heroes, villains, gadgets, and locations and he tosses readers into that world with very little preparation. The problem comes from the fact that Waller wants this to read like a comic wherein readers are already familiar with this world. There is nothing wrong with that, except that he sometimes seems to forget that we are not familiar with this world. Terms are used and heroes introduced without there always being an explanation of what those terms mean or what those heroes’ powers are. This can be a little irritating and frustrating as we struggle to keep up. Thankfully, this only happens in a couple of places and hopefully there will be more in future issues to fill in the blanks.

Axel Gimenez’s pencils may put some readers in mind of the artwork prevalent in comics during the 1990’s. This is not a bad thing, however, as Gimenez avoids the excesses of that era and instead focuses on the positives – the unique look, the solid designs, and visually interesting tech.

Greg Waller’s Magnitude is definitely a walk on the wild side where anything goes and quite possibly anything will. If you’re looking for a story to grab you by the throat and hold on then you should take a look here.

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