All Brain, No Heart
Crap hits the fan as humanity's enemies hit the ring with a full on assault. People die, secrets are revealed, etc.
Nick Pitarra has really made the most of his coming out party. His work on this book has been absolutely amazing! The ship designs, his character models, the shot of the Enemy home base. He really made me stick this issue out despite my lack of interest in the story.
Lots of action this issue. Seriously the two page spread that ends this issue truly sums up all that's right about his work.
Hickman's ideas remain interesting, despite being a bit obtuse.
Hickman avoids getting to preachy when Robert (I think that's Dom's dad's name) is confronted by his captor.
The beginning of this issue with Dom, Val, and May had me feeling like I missed an issue or something. I get that the story has to wrap up, but the change in interaction between them and their changes in rank happening off panel/between issues was just a bad storytelling move.
I just have no attachment whatsoever for any of these characters. I mean seriously I have zero investment in their fate. One of the main leads dies in this issue and their death had no impact on me. I've literally been moved to tears by character deaths in the past, but this death had no meaning whatsoever. I think them all feeling so stock is the main problem. I mean I honestly had to look in my issue to remember what the names of the characters were, that's never a good sign.
Hickman plays with the same concepts he always does in this book, and for once I think it's actually gotten old. Either that or their just very poorly executed. Normally he can make each story distinct enough on it's own and have it's on unique hook, but here that is sadly not the case.
For a sci-fi book I can't forgive something like having the base punctured and showing no effect of the vacuum of space on the interior. That totally sucked me out of the story.
As huge a fan of Hickman's work as I am and as much as I LOVE Pitarra's art this just is not a good enough story to recommend a buy. I'll buy the next issue because I've come this far, but if you're interested in this book and haven't been reading up to this point then hold off for the trade. Red Wing suffers from something that's often marred Hickman's creator work at Image and that's compressed storytelling (see Red Mass for Mars specifically). Hickman is a writer who thrives when telling a long format, decompressed tale. I feel like if he had 6-12 issues to truly flesh these characters and their world out then I may've come to love this book. But that isn't the case and reality is I lack a single iota of attachment to any of these characters. The ideas of the book is what got me here, and unfortunately there's not a character driven narrative to anchor said ideas too.