Hardcore #1 (Image Comics)
What if secret agents were able to take over a target’s body to help accomplish their missions? That’s the premise behind Hardcore, a brand new Image series from Andy Diggle and Alessandro Vitti. While it’s yet another sci-fi book from the indie publisher, the Altered Carbon meets James Bond pitch is so cool that it’ll definitely leave an impression on even the most seasoned sci-fi reader.
Agent Drake has been a “Drone Pilot” for some time now, except the drones he pilots aren’t small machines, they’re people. Drake’s agency targets associates close to the main subject he’s going after, and after injecting them with a small nanite, he’s able to take over their bodies and complete his missions. But when a former teammate betrays him, will he be able to escape to his regular body before the 72 hour limit on the nanite runs out?
Andy Diggle’s script starts at 11 and doesn’t let up at all. In the best way, Hardcore reads like a crazy Summer action movie, and even the exposition portions of the book don’t slow this first issue down. Diggle has really thought of every question a reader might have about this series and addresses them in a really fun way, and I’m legitimately excited to see what happens in the next issue.
Alessandro Vitti’s art adds to the action-packed issue, delivering some truly bloody and brutal panel sequences here. There’s not a wasted panel (or bullet) throughout the whole issue, it’s truly a thing of gory beauty. This issue is not for the faint of heart, but it is for people who like their comics with a little extra dose of blood.
Hardcore is definitely an action lover’s dream comic, and in a lot of ways, it’s the book I wish Die! Die! Die! Was. It’s got a really solid hook, a compelling main character, and feels like it’s the type of thing you’re destined to see adapted on the big screen. Seek it out.