Review by Dustin Cabeal for Comic Bastards
Not having the proper time to speak about Gunsuits a few weeks back on the CBMFP, I wanted to make sure that I was able to give it a fair shake during this review. It’s honestly been a while since I read a sci-fi story that was good and actually stuck around. I know that I’ve read several this year alone, but none that stayed with me which is the sign of a good sci-fi.
The first issue of Gunsuits is a slow burn. It starts off with a pretty cool action sequence in which we see a squad of men getting blindsided by what looks like an alien attack. The gunsuit arrives and it looks a bit inspired by EXO Squad or really any wearable mech tech that you’ve seen. The driver is a woman named Potts and you’re pretty sure she’s the main character… until she dies. I won’t say what transpires exactly. From there we pull out from some monitors and find that the people that have been narrating to us are actually watching the events unfold and there’s another Potts…
From there we watch and learn that they’re seeking a world in which some version of Potts has a successful defense against the invaders that are apparently attacking every possible version of earth that’s out there. Potts is at the center of it each time and she watches herself die over and over and over until finally she decides to take a break. The thing is… her world is under siege as this going on so it’s not like they have the luxury of time on their side. The last bit of the story I’ll give you is that they do manage to find an earth that has some defense against the invaders, but the twist that happens with that is actually more shocking than two Potts talking to themselves.
The concept and story are pretty great. I haven’t been tickled by a sci-fi concept like this in ages so once the hook was revealed I was in. Then the twist happened and I anteed up again. The only part that suffers is the dialogue, but strangely enough only for the first half of the comic. Potts and her team have awkward moments and they sound like they don’t know each other even though it’s clear that they’ve been doing this for hour upon hours each day. After a while though, you get through the rough patch and it’s not so bad. I’ll be curious to see how it plays out in the second issue.
The art by PJ Holden is solid. Holden is a consistent and detailed artist so the only reason you’d have to not like the art is if you’re not a fan of it. I dig it. I think Holden’s style matches the story and I really liked EXO Squad so seeing something that reminded me of that (even if that wasn’t the inspiration) was a good thing. Visually it’s a solid sci-fi world which is very important for the genre.
The coloring is kind of strange. When they’re viewing it through a monitor it’s really good and detailed. When you’re viewing them normally it’s a bit two-toned and lacks the same depth of color field. It happens over and over and so what ends up happening is that it looks inconsistent and shifting when it’s not. Clearly it was intentional, but I think it would look even better if the non-monitor colored world looked as good as the monitors.
New sci-fi properties are tough. They can fail instantly if they don’t find their fanbase or they can live forever if they find the right fanbase. Hopefully Gunsuits finds it’s fanbase because I’m really enjoying it. With it only being four issues I wonder what’s going to happen to resolve this storyline because a rather large plotline has been established in this first issue. Time will tell and I for one will definitely be there to find out.