Given the talents involved, it’s not surprising that the first issue of “The Remnant” reads very much like the beginning of a movie or TV show thriller. The pace is quick and dives right into the plot, but still leaves room for a few little character-establishing scenes. Like some of the more mediocre thrillers, though, it’s a bit obvious and the attempts at characterization don’t actually go beyond the most superficial elements. It’s still pretty entertaining, though.
The issue begins in a flooded New Orleans three years ago and a mysterious gentleman bringing a drowned man back to life. The drowned man then appears throughout the issue, following David Sacker, a former military man, current CIA agent, and newlywed who narrowly missed being blown up when the Los Angeles Federal Building explodes. Soon, his wife is taken in as a suspect because her name and work address appears on a flash drive recovered on the scene.
As I said, it’s all entertaining and Caleb Monroe’s dialogue is naturalistic enough to work with the TV/movie feel the comic has, but the plot is pretty cookie-cutter in many ways. A mysterious explosion, the CIA agent’s wife possibly involved, a mysterious man lurking in the shadows… since this is the first part of the story, there’s nothing here that’s really new. The story may go off in unexpected directions in the subsequent three issues, but little here works to draw the reader in.
That lack of originality hurts this comic since it would work better as a television show or cable movie, because the lack of a four-dollar price tag and having to wait a month for it to get to the good stuff wouldn’t be factors. As a comic, though, it has a few inherent strikes against it that isn’t really its own fault, but should have been taken into consideration ahead of time, and, perhaps, challenged creators Stephen Baldwin and Andrew Cosby to get to the meat of the story quicker.
One thing this comic does get right is its choice of artist, Julian Totino Tedesco, whose works is very fluid and relies on thicker lines. His choice of layouts is also intriguing as he prefers not to fully utilize the complete page, often leaving gaps between panels, but that also adds to pages where he fills them completely with art, leaving no gaps. The choice is interesting since most artists would stick to a more basic grid pattern given the nature of the story, although he doesn’t deviate so much as to make reading difficult. It will be fun to watch him grow over the course of the series.
He does have a slight flaw in his inability to distinguish between people in their 20s and people in their 30s or 40s since Sacker and his wife are supposed to be years apart in age, but don’t look it.
All in all, not a bad start, but a generic one. Where this story goes is anyone’s guess, but the opening issue doesn’t promise much beyond some solid entertainment.