‘Replicator #1’ Comic Review
“Replicator” begins with a fascinating narration about a mysterious disease called “The Red Death.” This opening is especially immersive as the panels are not over-written. Writer/creator Robert Arnold provides exposition using simple sentences with only the most necessary information. Arnold should be applauded because he effectively allows the artist Armin Ozdic to tell the story visually. Too often inexperienced writers feel the need to fill the panels with words, but Arnold trusts his readers to put the pieces together.
Unfortunately, there are moments that the writer relies too heavily on the reader’s ability to put the pieces together. When we are introduced to the characters for instance, the writing becomes confusing since the characters are not established in earlier panels. There is a scene in which a mysterious assassin attacks multiple soldiers and suddenly a shirtless frenemy of the assassin appears. This shirtless character completely takes away from the exciting presence of the assassin.
Perhaps Arnold and Ozdic want to save the assassin’s awesome power for upcoming issues. However, I think she should have been present throughout. In fact, she could have replaced some extra villainous characters that randomly appear at the end.
Therein lies the problem with the story so far. Too much of the comic is a mystery, there are too many characters, and sometimes the dialogue is underwritten. Honestly, I couldn’t help but think there were missing panels throughout the comic. There is a moment in which the main character, Ryker, is admiring his girlfriend or wife’s accomplishments at an important presentation then the story cuts to him talking to a friend of his. It’s abrupt and confusing. Plus, it takes away from the woman’s accomplishment.
I don’t think Arnold and Ozdic meant to do this, but it is odd that the two main female characters are somewhat forgotten. I hope they remedy this in the future. And this comic definitely deserves a future regardless of the need for more attention to visual continuity. The concept is interesting, the mysteries are intriguing, and the art is impressive. “Replicator” is worth a read, and I hope this creative team continues with the series.