Graphic Novel Review – Hawken: Genesis by Jeremy Barlow (2013)

Hawken: Genesis
by Jeremy Barlow
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Publisher: Archaia Entertainment

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I have to hand it to Archaia Entertainment: they just keep getting things right. They know what fans want and they consistently deliver. I have reviewed a couple of titles from Archaia (click here to read the review of IRON or here to read the review of WHERE’S MY SHOGGOTH?), and each one seems to top the predecessor. Full of innovative story lines and masterful artwork, Archaia is truly a force to be reckoned with in the world of comics and graphic novels. My latest foray into their catalog is no different. HAWKEN: GENESIS is a riveting science-fiction graphic novel that fans of mecha will absolutely love.

If you are not familiar with HAWKEN: GENESIS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Archaia Entertainment:

Based on the Free-to-Play Massively-Multiplayer online shooter Hawken, this original graphic novel serves as both a prequel and sourcebook for the game world, offering players a glimpse of what came before the game, and what might come in the months ahead. Hawken: Genesis focuses on the relationship between Rion Lazlo, the man who would be king, and James Hawken, the brilliant inventor who paves the way for Lazlo’s success. What begins as a mutually beneficial partnership developing magnificent technology for the planet’s largest corporation state devolves into betrayal and conflict that soon leads to a man-made cataclysm that changes the face of the planet forever!

I’m a huge fan of mechs, especially those from the ROBOTECH and BATTLETECH eras. I hardly talk about this here because I can’t seem to find much about mechs these days. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough…I don’t know. But when I heard about the HAWKEN series, my interest was immediately piqued. And thankfully, Archaia delivers another grand slam with it.

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HAWKEN: GENESIS is written well and the story flows at a nice clip. Author Jeremy Barlow does a great job of piecing together the drama as it unfolds amidst the action. This balancing act is part of what makes this graphic novel so good; the story doesn’t lag and it doesn’t overwhelm you.

But the artwork is the second factor that makes this book so enjoyable. Several artists, painters, and illustrators came together to visualize the world of HAWKEN, and the result is a vibrant success. The characters and mechs look great while the landscapes and scenery mesh perfectly. This allows for complete immersion into the story and therefore gives an enjoyable reading experience.

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HAWKEN: GENESIS is a definite win for me. I highly recommend giving it a look. And be sure to continue with the comic series HAWKEN: MELEE, which is in publication now. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the first issue, and I can say without a doubt that this is a series you don’t want to miss. Regardless of where you start, be sure and check out the world of HAWKEN soon.

MSB

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