Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #1
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by: Miguel Valderrama
Dark Horse Comics
New series based on the highly anticipated game! Nadia, an assistant EMT for a privately-owned business known as Trauma Team International, is the sole survivor of a failed rescue mission turned shootout. After she agrees to continue work for an upcoming extraction mission, Nadia and her new team find themselves in an even more dangerous and life-threatening situation.
Personally, I was super excited for this titled. It was a perfect storm of interests for me. I love CDPR, the company working on the upcoming video game the title is based on. I would have bought it just to support them. But I also love cyberpunk, and can’t wait to see the genre re-explode into the public eye. For me, this book was a no-brainer, and I loved every page. I’m thankful to be at that cross section of interests, but I don’t imagine there’s many like me, and for any one else the book starts to lose its shine.
It’s got a great story. There’s emotional investment, violence aplenty, and the cliffhanger is brilliant. The pace is a little too fast, with most of the action taking place in about half an hour. The rest is backstory and narration, and it’s a little hard to get excited for that. The set up for this series could have easily been its own four issues, though, so something had to go.
The art, too, has a lot of promise but fails to live up to it. The book is super colorful, which is nice to look at, but doesn’t match the genre well. Cyberpunk is usually dark and gritty, and it’s a little strange to read such a grim story with so much color and light. The genre is also known for highly individual character design, and the trauma team always wears the same armor. It fits the story, but it lets down my expectations, and it does make the artwork a little repetitive.
Genres evolve over time, of course, and shaking up well known tropes isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A colorful comic might even appeal to a wider audience, which would overcome my main concern about the series. And that makes me happy. It deserves to be read, and cyberpunk deserves a strong comeback. So as much as my personal ideas for what this should have been weren’t met, I do like the changes. It’s a solid book, from a practically brand new IP, in a genre that hasn’t been overplayed. People should love that.
A Great Comic with Limited Appeal
Any one looking forward to the upcoming videogame, or any one who loves cyberpunk in general, will probably love this limited series, but I'm just not sure any one else will care. It's a great story, and it's beautiful, but I'm just not sure many readers will care.