REVIEW: ‘Gears of War: Hivebusters,’ Issue 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 is published by IDW Comics, written by Kurtis Wiebe, standard cover art by Alan Quah and Komikaki Studio’s Sean Lee, alternative cover by Pierre Droal, edited by Chase W. Marotz, artwork by Alan Quah, coloring by Komikaki Studio’s Sean Lee, and lettering by Shawn Lee. This new series focuses around a small three-man team who’s main focus is to destroy hives in the Gears of War universe, an exclusive game series owned by Xbox Game Studios and is now created by The Coalition game studio.

Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 is a rather interesting read, as it starts off with a rather grim scenario for one of the main characters in the story. The dialogue in the comic fits the tone decently. There’s a lot of cursing which fits in the realm of Gears of War given that the characters in the game series did curse quite a bit. Given that this is the continuation of that series, it helps keep the story believable and “true” to the universe. The way that the characters speak to each other shows a penchant for respect and some bit of unfamiliarity, which can lead to the reader questioning how long this team has been together. That being said, it won’t have them questioning one another’s loyalty.

The characters in the story are quite believable in this world. They feel like characters that if they ever cross into the game, would fit right in. They’re brash, bold, abrasive, and have a strange sense of humor, but in a world that’s overrun by weird mutant creatures, it’s to be expected.

The story’s plot is pretty simple, the team is given a mission to destroy a hive and get out alive. The plot does work because as a player of the video game, I understand the world a lot better than someone who is being introduced to the world for the first time. There’s not a lot of backstory on what the creatures are in the comic, it’s written as if the reader already knows what’s going on, which I feel is a missed opportunity to help engage new readers better. So to be direct, if you’ve played the game series you’ll be fine, however if you’re just picking up the comic and entering the world now, I would suggest researching the Gears of War wiki to get some better understanding.

The main theme of Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 is that the world is in disarray and that these hives are linked to the chaos. To help restore the world back to its former “beauty” these Hives must be eliminated once and for all. I personally feel that it is a bit hit or miss with achieving that theme’s feel throughout the entire issue.

The art in Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 is some of the best I’ve seen, period. Alan Quah has done an amazing job delivering what the world looks like. The coloring which was handled by Sean Lee, is beautiful. The amount of detail in the shadowing, lighting, saturation, gradients, everything is done amazingly. The art and coloring helps bring the world of Gears to live on the page in a way that not even the video game series was able to.

The lettering was done fairly well, though I did come across some panels where the dialogue did get a bit confusing to follow, but after rereading I was able to follow along with what was to be said first. I do wish the bubbles were spaced a bit better as to keep some of the smaller panels from feeling a little congested, otherwise the issue was solid.

Overall, Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 took a bit to get into as the beginning was a bit dull, but once the action started to ramp up and things started to make sense, I was all in for this issue. I would recommend this issue to those who are fans of the Gears of War franchise, since it does a great job of giving you that gritty vibe the games are known for. Along with some weird humor and a weirder backstory to one of the main characters, that will make you go, “Why!?” this is a great issue to pick up for fans of the franchise.

Gears of War: Hivebusters #1
4

TL;DR

Overall, Gears of War: Hivebusters #1 took a bit to get into as the beginning was a bit dull, but once the action started to ramp up and things started to make sense, I was all in for this issue.