Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: The Beacon
Written by: Bob Harras
Pencilled by: Marcos Martin
Inked by: Alvaro Lopez
Colored by: Javier Rodriguez Studio
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Three months ago I picked up Breach…because. Truth be told, something in the meager promotions that were run for the book caught in my imagination and I decided to give it a shot. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
First, the book boasts a notably different tone than most superhero books on the shelves these days. There is a creepiness that was very evident last issue (especially through the villain the Herdsman) that beats just below the book’s surface. It is not as explicit this issue and is perhaps more unnerving because of that.
Adding to the fun is Major Zanetti’s (the protagonist of the series) first encounter with his full grown son. Much like last week’s Firestorm, the book soars on this single tiny moment and its resolution is more than a little crushing.
I find myself sitting the fence on the inclusion of the DCU proper into this title through appearances by Kobra, the JLA, and a certain Batman villain who is gearing up to be fairly high profile in the months to come. I like the idea of the integrated universe, I’m just not sure how well Breach will mesh with the rest of the DCU.
The script is aided ably by Marcos Martin’s art. I’ve said it before, but I’ll reiterate here. His style very much reminds me of Cliff Chiang (Human Target) and coming from me that is a huge compliment. This issue I especially liked how he framed Superman, Batman, and Martian Manhunter. Their faces are never seen, you can only identify them by piece of their costumes that flit into panel. It does a great job of framing the heroes as intimidating and distant from the situation at hand. I’m curious to see if this attitude will extend into next issue when the JLA make a full appearance, not just a cameo.
So, if all this is true, why is the book not scoring higher? Mostly because it only compels in bits, in moments. The book, as a whole, suffers occasionally from awkward pacing and the occasional poor bit of clichÃƒÂ©d dialogue. This is a solid book, it just isn’t great yet.