A Slow-Burn Aura Of Anxiety And Menace In The Warning #1

by Brendan M. Allen

An enormous machine slowly materializes in a major West Coast city. Who sent it—and why—is a mystery, understood only by the malevolent beings gliding silently toward Earth through the inky vastness of space. In response, a multinational combat brigade called Gladiator Two-Six is deployed. Outfitted with next-generation military science and weapons, they’re tasked with stopping any extraterrestrial threat that emerges.

Edward Laroche keeps his hand close to the chest in The Warning #1. We’re told in the solicit that a massive machine materialized on the US West Coast, and that alien heels are headed toward this rock, but this first issue only touches on the nature of the crisis. A group of enhanced soldiers are en route… somewhere. Flash back a few months, and some scientists discovered the anomaly that apparently led to the mobilization of this highly specialized unit’s deployment. There are very few details regarding the actual threat, but there’s still a hell of a lot to unpack here.

The artwork has a cinematic feel, which makes loads of sense, considering Laroche’s background as a storyboard artist. There are places where Laroche is as economic with visual details as he is with exposition in the script, but this first issue is all about setting mood and dialing up tension, rather than clearly defining the threat and developing characters.

The Warning #1 is the very definition of a slow burn. It’s one of those stories where you get way more information from the solicit than from actually reading the thing. You know what, though? It works. At least, it works as an opener. If something doesn’t pop off in the second issue, though, I might wait for the trade on this one.

The Warning #1, Image Comics, released 28 November 2018. Script and art by Edward Laroche, color by Brad Simpson, letters by Jaymes Reed.

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