Zero: An Emergency by Ales Kot – A Book Review

Zero has gained a lot of buzz during the last several months.  It’s typically described as a spy story with ruthless violence and a cold, detached protagonist.  Its main claim to fame is that it features a different artist with each new issue.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not much for spy stories, but the book has garnered such acclaim, I figured I should give it a shot.

I’m glad I did.

First of all, yes, this is a spy story … sort of.  I would actually tell you that it is a spy story with a heavy dose of subtle science fiction.  In fact, while the street fights and the gunfights are graphic, violent, and disturbing, the heart of the story revolves around cybernetic enhancements, teleportation devices, and something I’m not going to give away.  I like to think of Zero much the same as I think of Aliens—science fiction grounded in thrilling military realism.

And, quite honestly, the revolving artist tool works tremendously.  For the most part, each story is unique in terms of tone, content, and plot, and each individual artist fits those aspects perfectly.  Zero has found an inventive, authentic way to get many artists involved on the title, and though I’m not sure this technique would work as well with mainstream comic books, it suits Zero well, especially because this single volume spans thirty-eight years.

But, even after having said all of these positive things, I wasn’t sure until the very end of this first volume that I was hooked.  I liked what I saw and read, but a book has to be very special indeed to warrant my following.  The very last page, though … the very last page did it.  That last page hooked me.  I have to see where this title is going.

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