Monday, May 9, 2011

Good O'l Reviews: Formic Wars: Burning Earth #5

Formic Wars: Burning Earth #5

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and avenge these whales. And I'm all outta bubblegum."

Written by Aaron Johnston
Art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo 
May 11, 2009

Formic Wars takes place in the early days of the Ender's Game universe created by Orson Scott Card. The Formics, nasty alien insect creatures wielding biological weapons, are invading and Mazer must repel them despite increasingly worsening odds. This issue suffers from campy dialog and confusing fight sequences, but still manages to be a fun adventure from start to finish.

Caracuzzo creates shots of once-fertile terrain stripped away to make a barren wasteland, while also showing Mazer's face, weary and tired, during a rare moment of silence by the campfire. With such beautiful pencils throughout, it is a wonder how Caracuzzo makes an odd misstep during a fight on page 14. Mazer cuts down several Formics with a samurai sword, drops his weapon and cries out in pain for an unspecified reason, and then the next page he's standing tall drowning the last insectoid. A few missing beats turn an awesome fight into a confusing romp that ruins the otherwise stellar pacing of the story.

Then there’s the dialog. There are hits, such as when Danwan rescues Mazer and tells him the aliens are peeling away Earth's resources like a skin, which leads into the thoughtful story of a boy who lost his parents. And there are misses: soldiers rally after hearing what the aliens have done to their planet, and one burly commando cries out, "They're killing the whales, too? That's it. Now I'm royally pissed." It's a moment where laughing or raising an eyebrow are equally acceptable reader reactions.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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