Review: Hardware: Season One #1
I know very little about Hardware. I know the design but having never read the original comics, my knowledge is lacking. From what I can tell, the character has an Iron Man vibe about him and I’m not too far off after reading Hardware: Season One #1. While that initial take is very surface level, thankfully the debut issue delivers a thematic depth that’s so much more.
The third release in the relaunch of Milestone, Hardware: Season One #1 features a multi-layered read. It’s one that can be enjoyed for the at times fantastic art and action or its deeper themes.
Written by Brandon Thomas, Hardware: Season One #1 is tied directly to Static: Season One. Curtis Metcalf is being blamed for the release of gas that has given numerous individuals powers. Some claim he’s done it on purpose so those individuals could rise up against oppression. The Dakota Police are pursuing Metcalf forcing him to don a suit of armor and go on the run. The debut issue is mostly that.
Thomas keeps things simple as Hardware must dodge the police or take them out before they catch him. Despite that simplistic narrative, Thomas delivers so much more. Thomas puts Metcalf’s opposition in not just the Dakota PD but also his mentor and owner of the company he works for. Their relationship and interactions scream an exploration of modern race relations and at times evokes a master/slave mentality. Thomas makes the conversation and scenes between the two uncomfortable at times as it drips white supremacy and underlying racism on Alva’s end.
Denys Cowan‘s art is as impressive as expected. With inks by Bill Sienkiewicz, color by Chris Sotomayor, and lettering by Rob Leigh, there’s a grittiness about the art that matches the “man on the run” concept of the first issue. There’s times the exact details of what’s happening aren’t quite clear but the art still impresses. The style really nails down the story that Thomas has crafted as it emphasizes Curtis’ desperation and the chaotic nature of what’s happening.
Hardware: Season One #1 is another solid start for the Milestone line. The issue nails its tone and delivers a frenetic opening that has the reader along for the ride. Even when the art is a bit confusing, it’s still engaging with a beautiful style that nails the issue’s tone and narrative. Milestone is quickly shaping up to be everything we’d hope and this is a prime example of what that is.
Story: Brandon Thomas Art: Denys Cowan
Ink: Bill Sienkiewicz Color: Chris Sotomayor Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 8.65 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review