Review – Call of Duty: Black Ops III #1

Call of Duty: Black Ops III #1
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Larry Hama
Art by Marcelo Ferreira
Colors by Dan Jackson

Letters by Michael Heisler
Cover by Benjamin Carre

It’s no secret that Call of Duty is one of the most popular first person shooters of all time in the video game world.  Continuing a recent trend, Dark Horse it putting out this comic as a prelude to the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III.  Larry Hama is definitely the go-to guy when it comes to military and warfare style stories, and he’s well known for his work on G.I. Joe for IDW.  This, however, is a little different.
We start out with our soldiers trying to procure arms to complete the mission they are given to take down a target trafficking drugs and women.  If you’re a fan of military jargon and weapons specs, you will definitely enjoy the early pages of this book.  If not, or you just plain aren’t sure what they’re talking about, this book will drag for you a bit.   Once we get that out of the way, and we learn a little more about the target, the action really starts to pick up.  Early on it’s almost like there is a tease of action, but we finally get some towards the end.  We do see a surprising death in this book, and a mystery enemy that we really don’t get to learn much about (other than the fact that everyone seems to be scared to death of her.)
 There is nothing wrong with Hama’s writing, but the structure of the story in the first half is a little all over the place.  There is some humor, mostly the guys ripping on each other, which matches the subject matter very well.  The art by Ferreira is very good.  It’s not easy to manage all the players when the bullets start flying, but the stop motion panels are very fluid and detailed.  The only pitfall of this story is that, there has to be somewhat of a disconnect when the writer of the game is not writing the comics.  This is a prequel, so there doesn’t have to be too much continuity.  At the same time, if the intent is to tie in to the game, it’s hard for someone on the outside to come in and adapt to someone else’s story.  If you’re getting this book because you love Call of Duty, you won’t be disappointed.  If you’re looking for an in-depth story with a great story, this probably isn’t going to work for you.

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