Fraction #5 Review

Reviewed by: Mathan “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” Erhardt
Story Title: The 5th Element

Written by: David Tischman
Penciled and Inked by: Timothy Green
Colored by: Brian Haberlin
Lettered by: Jared K Fletcher
Editor: Joan Hilty
Published by: DC Focus/DC Comics

Four high school buddies have to split a suit of hi-tech armor that they stole. A government agent has been dispatched to find the stolen armor. The agent has tracked them down.

Last issue ended with an explosion. This issue begins with a neighbor calling the cops, because that explosion has interrupted her soap opera. That explosion took place at Trent’s house. Burke, the government agent, with an entire suit of armor to himself thinks that he’s going to make short work of the four friends.

Even though Mike, Trent, Ford and Pete are by all accounts inept, they realize they’re fighting for their life which gives them the upper hand. But Burke is wearing all four components of the suit, and he knows how to operate them fully, which gives him a larger upper hand.

The four friends manage to stay alive, but they don’t do too much damage to Burke. In Dallas a woman, part of the organization that owns the suits, watches the battle courtesy of hidden cameras in both helmets. When she realizes that the police have arrived to respond to the neighbor’s call, she activates a safety precaution in Burke’s suit; it begins to shrink.

The suit shrinks into a basketball size sphere, killing Burke. The four friends, afraid of the same fate, take off their pieces of the armor. Then the police come in. Fortunately Pete has activated the cloaking mechanism of the suit, but the four get hauled off to the station for questioning about the mysterious acts that have been happening in Philly. To be concluded next issue.

Tischman made this issue very believable. There was no way the four guys could beat Burke, but how he lost was very on the ball. The narration during the fight scene perfectly explained why everything happened the way that it did. Their reaction to Burke’s fate is also very real. It looks like he’s setting everything up to end next issue, and I’m really sad that this book didn’t have a much longer ride.

Green does an amazing job with this action packed issue. From the old school tv on page one to Trent’s sadness on page twenty-one, this is a fine looking issue. In the battle with Burke, Green perfectly captures the tension of the battle as well as the lack of space involved. The look of Burke’s contracting armor is painful to look at. And the responses to Burke’s shrinkage from the four friends, both initially and eventually are priceless. The absurdity of the nonchalance on page sixteen works because it is completely in character (as well as something that my friends and I would try to pull.) I’m going to miss Green’s art after next month.