Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell #1

The creations of Tom Clancy continue to find new venues for their adventures as Sam Fisher enters the world of comic books in "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes" #1 from Nathan Edmondson and Marc Laming. The cast is small and tight and the plot is just starting to unfurl, but that doesn't mean there isn't any action or intrigue.

Edmondson hits the ground running, with Fisher being painfully interrogated by some adversaries whose fury is sharply directed towards him. These foes are people Fisher wronged in a previous visit to Georgia, allowing Edmondson to fill in some history and provide sinew and bone on which to hang the meat of the story. As with all good action movies, "Splinter Cell: Echoes" #1 starts off with action, but backtracks to show the audience how the protagonist got to this point. Edmondson keeps the timeline short, stretching back only to Fisher receiving the assignment. More expansive details about the previous adventures of Sam Fisher can be found throughout the expanded universe Clancy has inspired.

There's a fair amount of talking in "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes" #1, which requires Marc Laming to dynamically illustrate people in a more static nature, but the once the action kicks in, he fires up, showing intensity in characters and their emotions and actions. Laming's characters are human, in a real world, happy to see a friend at the door with coffee and donuts. Colorist Ian Herring paints the moods into Laming's drawings and also sets the climates throughout Sam Fisher's adventure. There are a couple scenes that reach back further into the past, reflecting on Sam's days with a far younger Sarah under his care where Laming and Herring congeal nicely to produce images that look like textbook examples of distant memories.

While "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes" #1 sets out to continue the multimedia expansion of Tom Clancy's creations, this comic book stands fairly well on its own. However, some of the characters lack definition. Edmondson is crafty enough to keep the story moving along, stopping just short of promising readers more about the background of these characters later on. The creators choose to tell the story rather than expound on characters and history, which makes this an energetic read. As licensed properties go, "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes" #1 appears to have afforded the creative team a modicum of latitude, which they have happily utilized. Edmondson and Laming make a nice pair for action thriller comics and I'm keen to see where "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes" leads.

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