"The Deathsport Games #1" Comic Review
Written by James "Spez" Ferguson
Published by Bluewater Comics
Written by Mark L. Miller
Illustrated by Roy Stewart
2010, 36 pages
Comic released on December 2nd, 2010
In the not to distant future, China is at odds with the United States. Things are pretty heated and negotiations are not going well. Fuel is added to the fire when three all American youths are captured during a trip abroad. After much back and forth, China agrees to release the hostages...as long as they survive Deathsport, the most popular and violent TV show in the world. The Deathsport Games is basically Mojoworld from the X-Men but set in our dimension. Contestants have to make their way past various robotically enhanced sportsmen as they make their way through obstacle courses fighting for their lives the whole time.
While the setup for Deathsport is a little out there, I can get behind it. You have to take it with a grain of salt. The art by Roy Stewart leaves much to be desired though. At times his pencils look like a sketchier version of Jock (The Losers, Detective Comics) and that's a definite compliment. These moments come few and far between panels where it's tough to tell exactly what's going on. Many scenes look rushed or unfinished. It looks like they were going for a pulpy feel to most of the book by including the close-knit little dots that used to appear on old comics due to the way they were printed. This doesn't work well and actually hurts the artwork.
The absurd premise aside, Deathsport is actually kind of a fun book. It doesn't take itself too seriously and that's refreshing with all the doom and glum that has been in comics lately. You can sit back with this issue and have a good time. The art definitely needs some improving, but I think that with some work Stewart can be a great artist. This first issue gives you just a peek into the world of Deathsport as the contestants / hostages make their way through the first challenge. The dangers will increase as they move farther into the competition.
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