Why You Should Be Reading… Image Comics’ Zero

Hey guys welcome back! It’s that time again!! For… “Why You Should Be Reading…

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This week it’s my pleasure to talk about one of my favorite comics on the market right now … Zero.

First let me say I was extremely late on this comic, I was recommended trades 1 & 2 at my local shop about 7 months ago. I purchased them and ended up reading both within the same day.I then went on Ebay and purchased multiple copies of all the single issues, hell bent on having them all in first prints. In addition to that, I bid on and won a lot of # 1 variants signed by the artist to pad this collection, needless to say I got hooked on this comic HEAVY, and it grew into a slight obsession. Once I finished reading them knowing I owned them all, was a great feeling that reminded me why I love comics and collecting so much.

For anyone out there that’s interested in spy thrillers with intense action, this is a MUST read. The artwork is simply amazing, even though the artists changes with each issue. Ales has managed to effectively use different artists to tell a compelling story that feels fluid and consistent, even though there are multiple journeys through different visual styles. There should also be plenty of credit given to those artists for being able to pull this off as well as they have. As much as I love the action I am more impressed with the contents and depth of the story, even though I said this comic is an intense action thriller, it does go deeper than that. If you are a Ales Kot fan, you know his stories are not just cut and dry, they always have a deeper meaning with added dynamics that give you something to ponder. Personally I fancy stories with intense content I can re read and enjoy, and this series is one you will want to refer back too. It may even be one you need to refer back too just to grasp the full spectrum of the story. I honestly love that about Ales’s work, there takes a bit of analysis on the readers part to fully understand his concepts. With each read you are still sucked into the story as if you read it for the first time, and always seem to find something new to cling too. Its like collecting hidden gems with each read and laying them out in connecting fashion.

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We follow the story of a spy agent by the name of Edward Zero. From his grueling training as a child, all the way to his intense missions as an adult. Killing has become second nature to him, and passing the mission is always his number one priority. During the story we see how adamant the agency is about keeping their operatives without emotion. Zero understands this, so he decides to do things his own way continuing to keep the agency in the the dark. His inner monologues are impressively written, as they tell the story through his own eyes, giving you first person view into how he is processing his surrounding. As far as him in combat, I don’t think there is another character in comics inflicting and receiving as much damage as Zero has through out this series. That impressed me the most, the realism of the story, this is not the secrete agent that takes on a building full of henchmen, to end up walking away unscathed, oh no… This is Zero, a man that has endured unimaginable damage and continues going.This makes the character feel human, he is conceivable in the sense that everything has consequences. Every mission has its failures and short comings, so he can’t just go walking into all this shit and walk away clean. He is simply the tool of an agency that is wielding him, yet he is taking their damage in turn, simply so they can gear him up for the next step in their precious game. The best thing this comic does is speak volumes without any words. You can literally go pages without seeing any text, basking in nothing but action and suspense, allowing the artwork to pull you into a journey keeping you captivated with each panel. Some of my favorite issues like # 14 does this perfectly, a battle scene is literally the meat and potatoes of the entire issue.

The story is filled with all kinds of crazy twist and turns, and without ruining it for you, I will say things don’t happen the way you might expect. The tables turn pretty drastically for Zero, people are lost, and his world begins turning up side down, leaving him to piece it all together without getting killed. The thought of Zero being alive is a crazy concept in itself, with him being at this since child hood one could argue he has never truly lived, he is simply serving as a weapon for the agency who hides behind the desks and points out the targets. As we get deeper into the story we find out more and more of what the agency is about, examining how the conflicts that arise affect all the characters involved. As things happen and begin to change we find Zero struggling with the dynamics of his relationships with his superiors, and how these changes alter their courses’ forever. Zero is a teeth clinching read that needs to be experienced to be believed, and I humbly say it is worth your time and much more. I found myself reacting to what I read audibly on many occasions, causing me to flip back and forth through page after page to fully process what I just read. This is just a greatly written series you need to have on your shelf to pass to a friend, its not just a comic book its a well written story.

Zero # 16 will be dropping May 6th, which gives you time to catch up on and enjoy the first 3 volumes of the series. There is also a rumor that the 18th issue may be the final one. This really made me sad, however I will say Ales does a good job of not dragging things out, he is known for having the niche of understanding when to end a story. With that being said I wanted to make sure I was able to shed some light on this series before it officially ends, so people can enjoy this in all it’s glory and celebrate its ending together.

I hope you enjoyed this addition of Why you should be reading…. I will catch you next week as we talk about another comic that should be gracing your shelves’.

– Grainbelt Jones

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