The Raid #1 – Comic Review

Gareth Evans’ The Raid kicked, punched and exploded its way onto the scene back in 2011. On the back of its success a follow up, The Raid 2 again under Evans’ control, was made. This comic book series from Titan Comics takes place at the same time as events in The Raid 2, following on directly from the end of The Raid.

From the opening page of the comic book:

In the world of the Raid films, Jakarta is under constant threat from ambitious crimelords and their deadly henchmen… The police special forces do whatever they can to quash the threats but it’s a deadly challenge… It takes a special, determined, skilled, and tough individual to really rise to the challenge…

Introducing Teju, a special tactics officer in the Jakarta Police attempts to clean up his city by taking down local mob boss Bejo under his own initiative. The operation takes a turn for the worse when Bejo’s protection; The Assassin, Hammer Girl and Baseball bat Man take down the rest of the police officers. Teju somehow manages to escape with Bejo in tow but gets his balls handed to him by his commanding officer on return to the police station. Pissing off some very powerful people and breaking the law by these actions leads Teju to becoming an inmate at Jakarta prison.

As everyone knows, being a police officer in prison is NOT a good place to be for Teju. However, fellow officer Rama is also in the prison, working undercover with the alias Yuda in order to infiltrate the crime world through Uco, the son of a crimelord. Spotting Rama/Yuda in the canteen and recognising him gives Teju some relief but that is soon wiped away as Rama/Yuda tells him, via the international language of fighting (any old excuse!), that he is undercover and not to be conversed with or befriended. And so begins their troubles inside this prison as they not only try to survive but to dig deeper into the people and workings of the crimelords.

The vibrant colouring from Brad Simpson (Wolfenstein), mixing red and blues for emphasis, and a realistic style gives this comic some real punch. Budi Setiawan’s (Savage Dragon) artwork is really well done, being suitably adult in themes and tone just like in the films adding nice touches during the fights getting an inset picture of the damage that has just been inflicted by the impact (eg broken nose, shattered ribs etc). Even though the text has been translated it still flows well and there aren’t any language problems throughout.

Writer Ollie Masters (The Kitchen) has crafted, along with being under the umbrella of Evans, an interesting was of trying to inject a bit more story and plot into the fight-fest films. The characters are decent to begin with, building on The Raid films’ beginnings, and although they don’t get too much development in just this one issue there is plenty of action and it is a very good and intriguing start to the series.

The Raid #1 is now available from Titan Comics.

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