In the weeks and months following the events of Pacific Rim, the Jaeger pilots have fallen into obscurity. One, Griffin, is now a drifter who works illegally mining and smuggling the remains of dilapidated Jaegers.
Unfortunately, he has some competition working for a familiar face — or what is left of a familiar face.
Elsewhere, a son looks to take up his father’s legacy.
For what it’s worth, it’s apparent what Pacific Rim: Aftermath is trying to do. It wants to be about soldiers forgotten by their people and government trying to scrape by in what’s left of the world.
Unfortunately, it frames itself like the story of a forgotten celebrity. Griffin’s opening monologue focuses on the fame and glory of being the pilot of a Jaeger and how that is gone with the defeat of the Kaiju. That seems to be the focus of his problems instead of being left to scrounge and scrape despite being a war hero.
Even that could still be interesting if Griffin wasn’t a boring character. He’s grim, gruff, and manly — and that’s all there really is to him. There is no character depth, no pain, and no real struggle within his new life as a smuggler.
On top of that, the monologuing is atrocious. It wants to be like something out of a noir film, but it’s riddled with clichés and lines that just really don’t make sense. I don’t need to explain why, “When the going gets tough, the tough build armored giants with the power of entire armies,” is really lame.
It doesn’t improve when it shifts to the other narrator towards the end. Unfortunately, the brief bursts of uninspired action in the climax of the comic doesn’t help, either.
The art holds up quite well, though. Richard Elson brings a gritty and grimy dystopia that even the original movie didn’t really capture with all its sleekness and bloom (that being said, I do adore Pacific Rim). He also brings to life some unique Kaiju designs in the flashbacks. Guy Major also brings out a grittier and darker color palette to match the atmosphere the story establishes. Beni Lobel and Christopher Sotomayor do great work in the backup story, too.
Pacific Rim: Aftermath #1 is a very unexciting tie-in comic. It tries to go for a different tone and aesthetic from the movie, but its lead character is incredibly dull. On top of that, the plot does little to excite, and its theme is lost in its presentation. The art is good, but it doesn’t save the comic. I can’t recommend this one. Give it a pass.
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