The Warning #10 // Review
A crisis is averted, bringing news of a bigger, even more, dangerous crisis. Questions are answered, revealing even greater mysteries. The final issue of in the first act of writer/artist Edward Laroche’s The Warning brings everything together with a sense of resolution that leaves room for plenty of mystery tied-up in the impending danger awaiting the world of the comic book on the other side of a hiatus before the second of three books in the series. Action is handled well amid a drama that might be a bit too abstract to really dive into until the series makes its next appearance.
The issue opens 7 earth months before the beginning of the series. A very human-looking ETI is confronting something that looks almost godlike. There is talk of apostasy. There is talk of rebellion. There is talk of a library and a rather brutal-sounding cataloguing of things. With the dramatic flashback over, the issue shoots ahead to the present. The library in question is a vast fallen spacecraft which is about to detonate and likely take a massive chunk out the Earth in the process. To save the world and the library earth and ET need to work together.
Laroche’s story feels a bit rushed at the end of the first third of the series. The need for ET invaders and Earth’s defenders to work together could have had a much more elaborate and satisfying resolution than the one delivered here, but it gets the job done all the same. There are shades of the Tower of Babel myth in the backstory which suggest that it’s all an attempt to know the mind of some weird-looking energy god. It’s an okay backstory, but the way Laroche had been delivering the action early-on was much more satisfying in its lack of definition. The sense of mystery about the invasion gave the series a sense of otherworldly power. With the mystery defined to some degree, the series doesn’t feel nearly as powerful as it did early on.
The art that Laroche commits to the page solidly renders the action, but it feels choppy and staccato. Action feels stiff. Drama hits the page with some beautiful visuals. (The god being that the ET interacts with at the beginning of the issue is gorgeous.) The action feels more than a bit rushed, though. The long, beautifully fluid action sequences that defined the early part of the series are replaced by something that needs to deliver a hell of a lot of story in a single issue before the whole thing wraps up for it hiatus. The interaction between human and alien would work better dramatically if Laroche had allowed the art to play on a more sophisticated level with the aggression and communication between the two of them. As it was, he simply didn’t have enough space to do what he could have done with the end of the first act.
Problems with pacing aside, the final issue in the first series leaves things somewhat satisfyingly resolved for the time being. The immediate threat is over, but there’s a bigger one on the horizon. Pretty standard stuff for a multi-segmented action serial, but that doesn’t make it any less effective here. When next the series picks-up in its second act, it will be fifteen years later. Perhaps Act Two will be able to improve on the original while adding to it. In ten issues, Laroche has proven he’s capable of doing really, really good things with this series.