Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Review: Pacific Rim - Tales From Year Zero by Travis Beacham

Publisher: Legendary Comics
Format: Hardcover
Released: June 18th, 2013
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

Don't miss the exciting sci-fi prequel graphic novel of the highly anticipated movie, Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro! Chronicling the very first time Earth is menaced by incredible monsters known as Kaiju, these inhuman beasts rise from the ocean depths and threaten to extinguish all mankind! Witness the race to develop massive robot fighting machines called Jaegers in an action-packed tale featuring many key characters from the film as we follow them in their early careers. This is written by the Pacific Rim screenwriter himself, Travis Beacham.


Tales From Year Zero is easily one of the best graphic novels I've read for ages. Clever and gripping, it tells three prequel stories that all tie in to the new movie Pacific Rim, brought to cinema screens by Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham (who has also written this graphic novel). It's a fairly quick read but don't let that deter you: what you get here are three intelligent, masterfully drawn stories that are the perfect precursor to the film.

The three stories presented here, K-Day, Turn of the Tide and The Bono, are all tied together by a common thread, that of reporter Naomi Sokolov. She starts by interviewing people connected with the Jaegers and Kaiju, to write a story on how the Jaegers are losing funding. K-Day is my favourite of the three, and tells the story of K-Day, the day the Kaiju first unleashed hell on Earth. It's a hopeful story of survival, and also one of understanding. These creatures came out of nowhere and made their mark, but how can they be fought? How can the human race survive? That's where Turn of the Tide comes in, and bringing with it a whole wealth of Jaeger information.

Turn of the Tide features the inception of the Jaegers, giant mechs designed to do nothing but fight Kaiju. Their creators encounter all kinds of problems when testing the prototypes, and it's truly fascinating to see how they come up with a solution. This all leads in to the third and final story in the book, and probably the weakest, The Bono. Here we learn more about three central characters from the film: Stacker Pentecost, Raleigh Becket and Mako Mori. I can't wait to see how the characters have changed in the film, and just how much their early Jaeger experiences have influenced them now.

The art in Tales From Year Zero is all fantastic, especially the epic cover by Alex Ross. It's slightly off-putting from time to time as the artists change throughout the book, though it makes for interesting reading and also showcases a diverse team of pencilers, inkers and colourists. There are also six pages at the end showing the creative process, from script to the final page, and is a fascinating addition to an already high-quality release. I've read Tales From Year Zero twice already and I'm sure I'll be reading it again once I've seen the film on release day. As far as movie tie-ins go, this is up there with the best.


Diwali said...

You bundle Terminator, Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Iron man, Transformers, Battleship and other sci fi movies into one get Pacific Rim....ok that might be hyperbole but the movie is it in IMAX 3D if you will enjoy every moment of it...

prophecygirl said...

Diwali - I've seen it and loved it!