Hawken Genesis by Jeremy Barlow, Mike Kennedy, Federico Dallocchio, Nathan Fox, Michael Gaydos, Baqus Hutomo, Christopher Moeller, Alex Sanchez, Bill Sienkiewicz, Francisco Ruis Velasco, Sid Kotian, Kody Chamberlain
Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Mech, MMO, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment, LLC
Description: A comic based on the Free-to-Play Massively-Multiplayer online shooter Hawken.
WOW! I’ve been writing reviews for a few years, and my opinions about books started right about the time I read about Pug running for the first time (run Pug, run); and I can’t even begin to tell you how often people have told me to be wary of books/comics based on video games and how often I’ve been surprised at how wrong those warnings were. Hawken Genesis is yet another really well done graphic novel based on an MMO, and as soon as I laid eyes on the cover I knew this was going to be good. I have to stay away MMOs, not because I don’t like them, but because my love for things like that would cost me my job, my marriage and I wouldn’t have time to write awesome and interesting articles for Pop Cults. Yup! I’m one of those guys! I have watched people play Hawken and I have always loved the fast paced nature of it. Add stunning visuals and it is a well done game, the same love that went into designing the game has spilled into this graphic novel.
When I saw the cover art I thought I’m not into Mechs, but I would frame this and hang it up. The amazing cover art got me thinking that there would be a few frames as epic in nature and scope as the cover but the rest of the book would be typical. Nope! I was wrong! The art in this book is portrait quality in almost every frame. The color choices were spot on and really made this book move. The inclusion of several pages with dispatches really helped tell the story. This bevy of authors really took the concept of the graphic novel literally. These dispatches are presented in a manner in which the reader gets the impression that they are being read on a computer screen, not a new concept but still done really well. These files and dispatches allow a much more in-depth story to be told, without sacrificing the visual brevity that the graphic novel form allows. I really felt like I got twice the story with these “screen shots.”
As compelling as the art is the story is really interesting as well. I’d say that there are major surprises as far as some of the plot hooks involved in the story between the two main characters, but the journey is more important than the destination in Hawken Genesis. You don’t have to be familiar with Hawken to enjoy this story and I have a feeling this will actually enhance the experience for the folks playing the game. One final note I was pleased with the cohesiveness of this story even with the long list of authors involved. The success of this story is a direct reflection of their efforts as a team and deserves to be mentioned
Hawken fan or not this is a great graphic novel, most of the frames are portrait quality and the story is worth being told. I can actually see this spawning several stories dedicated to minor characters in this setting and I can’t wait to learn more about them. This is the story that started Hawken, but I sure hope it isn’t the end of outstanding graphic novels for this well honed team.