Threshold #1 Review
***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***
I have to say, I wasn't coming into this comic with very high expectations. We have a survival, battle royale-type story that can be difficult to write. A story like this with characters on the run necessitates both strong action sequences, along with interesting characters who we want to root for. Luckily for us, Keith Giffen and the rest of the creative team is able to deliver both in spades.
While many people have been mentioning the similarities of this comic to the Hunger Games, I think a far more suitable comparison is to the Running Man, with both colorful hunters and hunted playing the game. Jediah Caul has alot of potential as a character, and his interaction with the character Ember is quite delightful. In fact, Ember is a fun character, who I hopes sticks around in this series. Giffen writes these two characters quite well, and the dialogue he writes for both characters is superb.
Unfortunately, I think the second half of this issue drops a little in quality. Ric Starr is written rather well, but I didn't like the character of Stealth at all. She comes off as a cold, ruthless bitch. While I get that may be how some of the hunted survive for a while in the game, there's nothing original or interesting about her character so far. However, in Giffen I trust, and I expect us to learn alot more about the characters in both halves of the main feature.
Giffen skillfully weaves multiple plots hear, and we get a hint that another one of the hunted is about to enter the game. Bonus points if you can guess whom the new contestant is!
I especially liked the Glimmernet pages. It made you feel like instead of reading a comic that you were watching a Glimmernet broadcast of The Hunted.
My only complaints with this issue are: 1) Giffen uses a significant amount of space slang (a minor quibble). While some of it is fairly understandable, you may need a second read to get what certain characters are saying, 2) I don't know how much I'm missing out by not having read the Green Lantern New Guardians Annual #1 or knowing much about any of these characters beforehand. I don't know anything about Jediah Caul, Tommy Tomorrow, Star Hawkins, Stealth, Lady Styx or any other character. before reading this issue. Luckily, this comic is rather new reader friendly, and considering that I hadn't read the annual issue, I didn't feel like I missed out on too much (though I may go back and read the annual to see if there was anything I missed).
Tom Raney's art throughout the main feature is splendid. We get some really dynamic action sequences here in this comic, which is absolutely necessary. The action is easy to follow panel to panel. Special commendation should go to colorist Andrew Dalhouse, who's magnificent coloring really makes the art pop in this issue. The colors especially help paint the world of Tolerance and aid the reader to realize both how otherworldly and dingy and dirty Tolerance is. The art team on this book should be absolutely commended for their work.
The backup feature of Threshold is the single best backup in the New 52. Giffen has always been great at writing interesting and funny dialogue, and he hits a grand slam with Larfleeze. The backup was both hilarious and sets up a terrifying scenario for Larfleeze. Giffen should win an award for best comic book line of the year for this amazing line: "In the beginning there was Larfleeze". If you didn't laugh at all from this backup, you don't have a soul. Scott Kolins does a great job with the art. He draws things convoluted, dirty and dynamic, which is a perfect fit for Larfleeze! Kolins facial work here is great. You can totally see Starblade being extremely frustrated with having to put up with Larfleeze's nonsense! I seriously can't praise the backup enough. I've read it twice now, and both times it was a fantastic read.
Threshold #1 turned out to be a really fun read. If your on the fence about this title and you have $4, I'd recommend you picking this issue up!