Tales of Honor: Bred To Kill #1 (Comics Review)

Tales of Honor is the adaptation of David Weber’s Honor Harrington novel series and is written by Matt Hawkins, who is one of my favourite writers in the biz, and is drawn by Linda Sejic, an artist I don’t have much of an experience with, but love her work nonetheless. I’ve read a couple issues of the previous Tales of Honor volume, and even the recent FCBD issue, not to mention that I read the first novel recently as well, so I’m pretty well-versed with the setting and the characters, and going into this new arc, that’s a good thing since I can orient myself that much quicker.

Tales of Honor: Bred To Kill #1 picks up sometime after the recent war with the People’s Republic of Haven in the Basilisk system, and it has Honor coming back during some downtime from her job as the Captain of the HMS Fearless in order to discover the whereabouts of a missing relative. As the start to a new arc, Hawkins and co-writer Dan Wickline quickly establish the titular character’s “need to knows”, and move on with the meat of the story, which proves to be fairly interesting, and the corresponding art by Linda stands out as well, easily on par with some of the other top-notch stuff I’ve seen of late from various creators, including Linda’s husband Stjepan who is at the top of his game right now.

Tales of Honor - Bred To Kill 001-000

Tales of Honor: Bred To Kill #1, as I said, is the start of a new phase in the life of the titular character Honor Harrington. While recuperating from her latest mission and giving her battered ship a review shakedown, she is contacted by her mother and asked to look into the disappearance of an uncle who was investigating some nefarious individuals. That’s the long and short of the new arc, and I have to say that as things go, it is simple and direct, and thus a great jumping on point for (relatively) new readers like me.

The issue doesn’t actually start off as I’ve described but it begins with some action that puts you, the reader, directly into the thick of the action as Honor tries to find out what happened to her missing uncle. Having read On Basilisk Station just a month or two ago, many of the characters to be found here are fresh in my mind, and that definitely helped me orient myself in this setting, and also helped me to get the feel of the story right away as well.

In the few short pages here, we learn quickly what kind of a leader Honor is, what kind of a ship she keeps, and her loyalty to her family even though she isn’t all that enamored of her mother, at the least. This is rather key in a new arc and Matt Hawkins and Dan Wickline both hit the ground running on that front, for which they definitely deserve a big hi-five. Given the overall formal nature of the setting with respect to the Manticoran navy, the story also has a particular high-flying charm to it that I just couldn’t resist, and was something that helped form my very good impression of the writers’ efforts here.

There isn’t a whole lot of action in here, despite the rather explosive start in the first few pages, but it is all in the simmering stage yet, and that’s fine with me. First, get the readers familiar with the character(s) and then throw them off the deep end. That works for me, and I can certainly see myself becoming a regular reader here, and also going back to read the first volume.

Linda Sejic is the artist here with Troy Peteri on the letters, and Linda providing the cover art as well. The thing that immediately leaps out at me when I look at the artwork is the formality of the Manticoran Navy, the strict uniform, the beret-like caps, and so. Very, very strong rigid military feeling. That’s an important part of the protagonist’s identity as well, so it stands to reason that the art should reflect that, but I think that Linda’s work goes beyond that and is all the better for it too. In some ways, in particular how Linda draws her characters and the colors she chooses, her art has some similarities to her husband Stjepan’s more famous and current works, but I think that this similarity is surface-deep only and that her work stands very well on its own. It is all in the little flourishes such as how her characters really appear animated and passionate page-to-page, and so on. Or even in the details she throws in. And she draws a really mean-looking Nimitz, Honor’s treecat companion.

All in all, a pretty fantastic read!

Rating: 9/10

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Posted on June 22, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Visions and Revisions and commented:
    I’m looking forward to the further adventures on Honor Harrington in this new medium.

    Like

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