Fierce #1

Written by Jeremy Love
Penciled by Robert Love
Inked by Jeff Wasson
32 pages, color
Published by Dark Horse Comics

I’ll admit that most of the initial titles out of Dark Horse’s Rocket Comics line failed to really grab me. Aside from Crush, those books just didn’t seem to really click. With the arrival of Fierce, though, I was intrigued. I’ve known of Jeremy and Robert Love for some time now and the chance to finally see the two of them create a comic together sounded too tempting to pass by.

Jon Fierce was found by the FBI as an adolescent, able to describe crimes in great detail days before they’d occur. Now he works as part of a team codenamed “Razor”, comprised of some of the FBI’s most elite agents. What even Fierce’s psychic powers might not be able to warn him about, though, is that the case he and the rest of the Razor team are heading straight for disaster, one that they might not be able to walk away from.

There’s a lot to both like and dislike about Fierce. On the plus side, Jeremy Love is able to tell a great action story. The Razor team’s strike on the weapons smuggler’s base is fast-paced and keeps the reader’s attention; likewise, the title character of Fierce is interesting, with his immense guilt that he carries with himself as well as the nature of his unpredictable psychic powers. What brings the book down a bit, unfortunately, are the stereotypes that seem to surround Jon Fierce: the psychologist falling in love with her client, the prissy and fancily dressed weapons dealer (although I suppose one could argue if the stereotype here is supposed to be French or gay), or most of Fierce’s teammates. It’s frustrating because the core of the book is really solid, but it’s the little things like this that kept distracting me as a reader. (Oh, and FBI Headquarters isn’t in Langley, Virginia, it’s in Washington DC. Langley is home to the CIA Headquarters. Oops!)

Robert Love and Jeff Wesson’s art for Fierce isn’t what I’d have expected for this sort of book, but it surprised me in how well it works. Robert Love’s pencils have a simple, chunky sort of figure drawing that moves well from one panel to the next, giving a good feeling of progression as the action unfolds. Robert Love’s good with the quieter moments as well, with little scenes like Griff’s girlfriend sitting in the bed with a contemplative smile on her face working perfectly thanks to his and Wesson’s work. Most interesting of all for me, though, was the cover as it shows Jon Fierce with a level of menace surrounding him that we haven’t seen yet within the comic. He’s able to make Fierce look so different depending on the circumstances, yet still recognizably the same character, that it says a lot about Robert Love’s command of drawing body language.

Fierce definitely has more hits than misses, but I can’t help but hope that the parts I had problems with earlier are rectified in later issues. There’s a lot of potential here, so with any luck we’ll see it followed through by the end of the mini-series. For now, though, it’s a recommendation so long as you know that there are some small kinks in need of working out. One of the strongest debuts from Rocket Comics, though, without a doubt.

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