Review: Red: The Heroic Rescue Comic Books | My Reviews 27 JUL 2011

Thomas Hunter is caught between two realities, each facing a meltdown of epic proportions. When he dreams in one world, he awakens in the other. In one reality, he is a respected general leading the vastly outnumbered Forest People in a war that could end life as they know it. In the other, he’s racing to stop the release of the deadliest airborne virus ever created.

The virus has a three-week latency period, and now only days remain before its deadly power is unleashed. Thomas must find a way to change history – or face the destruction of two worlds.

Although I’m not familiar with author Ted Dekker and his work, nor with his Circle trilogy whatsoever, I did find my self enjoying the first book in this graphic novel adaptation despite the pacing problems I thought it suffered from, as well as the jarring inconsistencies in the various art styles employed to get the book out to print. However, the story, dripping with its religious undertones, was entertaining and thus I was rather happy when I laid my grubby paws on the second book of the trilogy.

We are launched straight into the middle of a new conflict, with time having skipped fifteen years since the end of the last volume, and Thomas having not dreamed in all of that time. The destruction of the coloured forests due to the actions of Tanis has caused the birth of the diseased people known simply as the Horde, who are now in active war against the few remaining forest dwellers who still look up to Elyon for their protection.

In the other reality, Thomas’ problems have by no means gotten any less. The Raison Strain virus has been released into the world by a madman with his own agenda, and without any known cure or protection against it, humanity now faces its biggest threat as Thomas continues his quest to save Monique who has been taken against her will so that the man pulling the strings might have a cure with which to bargain against the world.

What follows is a rapid moving tale full of deception, intrigue and twists and turns, as Dekker’s story moves onto its meaty part, with Matt Hansen’s adaptation retaining both its action and drama, as well as keeping its cleverly interwoven religious connotations.

The pacing is much better that the first novel but reads in much of a similar fashion, meaning that if you enjoyed the back and forth of the first volume, you will enjoy this one, particularly when the various story lines segway back and forth into one another as more and more of the mystery gets uncovered.

As for the art, the book still employs more than one artist from Big Jack Studios to handle all the penciling and inking duties, but this time around the art is far more consistent and less messy that the first outing. That said, there are a large number of glaring art as well as language/spelling mistakes in the book, which is pretty annoying when you think that surely this must have gone through some sort of quality check or proofread before it actually hit the printer’s press!

Nevertheless, the story is compelling to take in and takes you through quite a ride, with perfectly enjoyable visuals that aid the story along, making one look forward to the final big reveals coming in the third and final volume as you hit the last few pages of this one!

(In other words, it ends on a heck of a cliffhanger!)

Well worth picking up, especially if you enjoyed the first volume, but beware, after reading this one you had better have access to the third and final volume because you’ll WANT to know what happens next!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.