Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Spotlight Review - Freedom Formula #1

Freedom Formula #1 (of 5)
Publisher Radical Comics
Writer Edmund Shern
Artists Chester Ocampo & Kia
Visual Effects Designed Mr. B.
Created By Edmund Shern, Kai, Kunkka & Artgerm
Concept Designs Imaginary Friends Studios

I read reviews by other people of books and one of the things that bugs me is it is hard to often cut to the chase. That’s why I always put a letter grade at the end of my reviews so you can skip everything and get the bottom line. I’ll save you a little time; by letting you know right up front that Radical is three for three with their books as Freedom Formula is another winning book.

I almost started with talking about the credits. Wow, I feel like I watching the movie credits scroll on and on with all the people involved. Still it is hard to argue with the results. I would love to see a little more back story about how these guys came up with this idea and was it at first an animation movie, screenplay, video game idea, all three or a comic book first. The ideas have potential to be successful in multiple mediums.

The art on this book will simply blow you away. I had the chance to read this as a PDF file first and then actual hold the pages of the book in my hands and the book is even better. It was like watching a movie on a big screen TV and then going to the movies and realizing just how great the visuals are. On the PDF I was enjoying the art, looking at the actual pages I was enthralled.

The layouts are great as we start with black pages with rectangular panels cut out to give us the back story of how war machines become racing machines for the most sensational sport this world has even seen. We get double pages spreads, we have slick looking racers, we have the grittiness of the wastelands, and we have massive vistas of an unending city called Los Petropolis. When needed the art is slick and clean and the racers are positively gleaming, but also when needed you can feel the dirt and grit in the air as you travel into the wastelands. Flat out the art is gorgeous and is stylistically totally different from either other Radical books. The productions values are just as high and what has to now be considered the standard that Radical comics has for their books. It is very nice to know that the level of quality is very high with this company.

The story is a little on the more complex side, but it draws you in very well. It sets up and gives you background on what Freedom Formula racing is, but then wisely focuses on the story of Zee and him trying to perform his a last delivery for his father who has died. He ends up being stuck in a crash with a mobile pit crew for one of the racers and this circumstance gets him into the city and …. Well, buy the issue and see what happens. Needless to say that I can’t wait to see issue #2 to find out what happens to Zee.

Radical is really trying to take comics to a different level. It is very cinematic in the feel of their stories and they are big stories, yet wisely focus on one or two people so the reader has someone to identify with or at least empathize with as the saga unfolds.

Overall Grade A

The tagline: Freedom Formula is a Mach 3 ride you do not want to miss.

Should be in stores on August 13.


  1. Wow! Thanks very much Jim. Glad you enjoyed the first issue of Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland.

    I'm biased but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one intrigued by the story and blown away by the art.

  2. Freedom Formula may be number one... but when it comes to graphic novel author Yoshitaka Amano takes the blue ribbon. His novel "Mateki: The Magic Flute" is filled with breath-taking drawings and an exciting story line. His name may sound familiar because Amano is one of the master minds behind Final Fantasy. Defintely a must read for any gamer!