Review – Tom Clancy’s The Division: Extremis Malis #1

Tom Clancy's The Division: Extremis Malis #1 (of 3) - Dark Horse Comics

Written by Christofer Emgård

Art by Fernando Baldó

Colors by Michael Atiyeh

Letters by Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Jimmy Betancourt

Cover by J.P. Leon

It seems like there are more and more video game comics every day, doesn't it?  If you look down the list of games that we saw at E3, it seems like most of them now have their own comic book adaptation.  Dark Horse seems to especially be going all in on these adaptations.  Recently we had a review of the new God of War comic, and this week, we're talking about Tom Clancy's The Division.  Let's find out what's going on in Extremis Malis.

I'm going to write this review going on the assumption that you are already aware of the premise of Tom Clancy's The Division 2 video game itself.  If not, this would be quite a long review.  This particular story follows Agent Caleb Dunne, an ex-military man who was recruited by The Division to help with the recent crisis.  Dunne, his partner and fellow agents are on a mission to try and track down a weapon's supplier.  The mission doesn't go as planned, (POTENTIAL SPOILER) leading to the death of his partner.  At that point, Dunne makes it his personal mission to track down the person responsible.  It's at this point that we start to learn more about Dunne, and how he is dealing with his own personal issues as well.  He soon find out that the person he is tracking down is much more dangerous than anyone could have possibly imagined.  If killing her partner wasn't enough, there might be something much bigger at play here.  This book certainly wastes no time with an initial confrontation, after which it looks like Dunne has to choose which mission is more important to him.

I went back and forth on how I felt about this book.  At first, it felt like there were several tropes when it comes to covert op style stories.  You have a rogue villain, who commits an unforgivable act, which eventually leads us to find out they have a much larger plan in mind.  Then there is the agent, who has a personal stake in things, that tries to stop them.  The difference here is Caleb Dunne, and the fact that we are inside of his head pretty much the entire issue.  Emgard gives the reader a personal stake in Dunne, and at the very least, gives you a reason to want to follow him.  If you're already a fan of The Division, you will probably enjoy this more than the casual reader.  I will say that this serves mainly as an introduction, so don't expect any deep game intel here.  I wouldn't say this feels like a video game comic.  I will let you decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  The art is pretty solid, and does highlight some aspect that you would see in the game.  There were a couple of panels in particular that looked right in the eyes of the character in question, which really had an impact on the story.  There are only three issues to this particular story, but I'm admittedly on the fence here.  I think I'll give this another shot to see where it goes.


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