Zero #1 opens with a man sitting literally at the edge of the Cliffs of Dover in 2038, about to be executed by a young boy with a handgun. It’s a stark, unsettling opening, to be sure; we don’t know what led to this scene 25 years in the future, what this man has done or why he’s being executed, much less by a child. Yet writer Ales Kot and artist Michael Walsh are just getting warmed up.
The man has a story to tell before he dies, an event that happened 20 years earlier when Edward Zero, an Israeli soldier working for an organization called The Agency, is assigned to neutralize and extract a deadly device implanted in a Palestinian terrorist. In London, two members of The Agency monitor Zero’s progress.
Jordie Bellaire colors the landscape with so many dusty shades of brown and tan that when the screaming red of bloodshed happens (which is often), it provides an incredible impact. Kot’s pacing of the story combined with Walsh’s art (reminiscent of the work of David Aja and David Mazzucchelli) work to make Zero’s mission along the Gaza Strip an intense, non-stop, brutal whirlwind that will leave you gasping for air at the last page.
Walsh’s art is filled with dense lines and an almost constant sense of motion and aggression. Like an expert cameraman, he knows when to zoom in and when to pull back. The energy he creates in his panel choices is simply astounding. But don’t get too used to Walsh’s work; as CBR reports, each issue of Zero will feature a different artist.
I’m not exactly sure where Zero is going, but the premise of its first issue, while not exactly groundbreaking, certainly has my full attention. If war/espionage comics are your thing, Zero #1 will turn your dials all the way up to 10.
(Zero #1 is rated M for graphic violence, sex and nudity)