Review: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes #1
Sam Fisher, once a Splinter Cell–a clandestine operative operating in the shadows of the NSA–is now retired. His enemies, however, are not. Haunted by dreams and memories of his past, he struggles to put his life back together. But when a mysterious terrorist organization called KROWE begins pursuing targets around the globe, Sam’s expertise is needed to uncover their endgame and stop them before the deadly plot unfolds. “Echoes” takes place between the events of Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist. The series bridges the gap between the two games with a realistic, original story that sets the tone for the opening events in Splinter Cell Blacklist!
Everyone’s favorite agent from Third Echelon is back in action this month with the release of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Echoes #1. The four-issue series bridges the gap between two of the games and is written by Nathan Edmondson with art by Marc Laming. Dave Stokes, Michael Lacombe, and Salgood Sam handle additional inks with Ian Herring taking on colors. Sam Fisher has taken over the world of video games and novels, but how does his trip to the world of comics go?
Splinter Cell: Echoes was available as a limited print run graphic novel as part of the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Collector’s Edition, but Dynamite has planned to release it as a four-issue series. The first section of the story sees Sam trying to cope with his new life as a homebody. Needless to say, it’s not suiting him well. Sarah is home and that’s great, but he can’t quite deal with a life of doing yard work. That’s why he jumps at the chance to serve as a consultant of sort when Vic offers him an opportunity to serve on the team during Paladin 9’s latest mission. An unnamed client needs some information, and Vic needs Sam to help him. As he says, the young guys are good, but they’re no Sam Fisher. As you can imagine, the mission goes south and it goes south fast. Things are a lot more complicated than anyone though. Will Sam get pulled back into old habits? What information was on those computers? What is this new group KROWE trying to do?
Edmondson writes a story that really captures the tone, feel, and voice of Splinter Cell very well. Sam Fisher is Sam Fisher, and at times you can hear Michael Ironside reading the dialogue in your head. However, the Splinter Cell series does have a sense of sameness to the way things get going. Edmondson offers up something new, but there are plenty of familiar elements. Since this is broken up into four issues, it appears the somewhat cliché Splinter Cell trappings are out of the way and it’s time to start getting into new territory. Laming’s art is a great fit for the series. His characters are distinct and his often scratchy lines work really well when Sam is in full Splinter Cell gear and working his way through a compound. He stays true to the visuals of the franchise while still offering up a few twists of his own. Herring’s colors really run the gamut. You get bright, vivid pages of Sam and Sarah enjoying a day outside and then a few pages later you get dark and grimy warehouses. It really makes Laming’s art and the inker’s lines pop.
Bottom Line: This is a story designed to bridge the gap between two games, but Edmondson’s style with military and Special Forces stories like this make it push against the expected boundaries. It gets going like most of these things do, but it looks like we’re in for a treat from here on out. 3/5
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