Movie tie-in comics are nothing new. Star Wars has several monthly books. Marvel puts a limited series out for nearly all of their films before they drop. Even video games get tie-ins. While tie-in comics vary in quality (DC’s Injustice comics are *incredible*, most other ones are … well, not), there’s no arguing that for fans of a particular property, they help to provide a boost while enduring the interminable wait between Hollywood studio films. Legendary Comics is helping to fill that gap for fans of Pacific Rim with their limited series Aftermath.
The books tell the story of what goes down between the original movie and its sequel, Uprising, an in-universe time span of a decade. It’s an interesting concept to imagine a world where giant weapons, created to fight an existential threat, are no longer needed for their original purpose. The story focuses on both those who are left without a purpose, a Vietnam-veteran-like former Jaeger pilot named Griffin, and those who have darker plans afoot, as when a fan-favorite character from the original movie makes a sudden – and brutal – reappearance. Cavan Scott, the writer, certainly is quite capable at handling a tie-in project, as his credits in the past have included stories set in the worlds of Doctor Who, Adventure Time, Power Rangers, Skylanders, LEGO, Star Wars and more. Even better, the comic’s pencils are mostly handled by Richard Elson, who does a great job rendering each frame. Elson, like most comic book artists, is equally adept at various properties. He’s worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, drawing the characters with a great amount of detail and with subtle lines, and also the much more cartoony Sonic the Hedgehog.
Pacific Rim: Aftermath has the unenviable task of telling a story about giant robots versus giant monsters without any giant monsters. They are seen in flashbacks here, a compromise that works about as well as it possibly can. But Scott and Elson work overtime depicting detailed characters and trying to flesh out a world seen only in pieces in the first movie, giving fans something to look forward to when Pacific Rim: Uprising lands on March 23.