Story by Dan Jevons, Miles Williams, and Khang Le
Written by Jeremy Barlow
Illustrated by Francisco Ruiz Velasco, Alex Sanchez, Kody Chamberlain, Sid Kotian, Bill Sienkiewicz, Bagus Hutomo, Michael Gaydos, Federico Dallocchio, Nathan Fox, and Christopher Moeller
Colored by Grant Goleash, Derek Dow, Eddy Swan, Chad Fidler, and Logan Faerber
Lettered by Deron Bennett
Cover by Khang Le
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Cover Price: $19.95
Hawken: Genesis is a graphic novel based on the popular free online multi-player game, Hawken. While the game allows you to go to war, controlling a massive, robotic killing machine, Hawken: Genesis explores the origins of why you are fighting in the first place. Archaia Entertainment pulled together a solid team for this graphic novel with the story written by Jeremy Barlow and illustrations provided by a slew of fantastic artists.
“Come to Illal. Come to Paradise.”
In a beautifully poetic narration that grapples with a terrible irony, we are introduced to Illal, a planet on the verge of destruction. Years of chaos and war have ravaged the world; however, it was not always this way. Millions of people—workers and their families—left Earth years ago with the promise of starting a new civilized life on the marvelous Illal. Purchased by a group of multi-planetary corporations, Illal was supposed to offer a bright future. Prosk and Sentium, the two largest players in the corporate world, were unable to control their greed. What began as behind the scenes spy work, led to secret wars masked by cunning Public Relations groups on both sides. James Hawken, an unrivaled genius in mathematics and science, is brought in to work for Prosk by his best friend, agent Rion Lazlo. What Hawken doesn’t realize is that Lazlo and Prosk are manipulating him into creating weapons of war that will lead to Illal’s eventual downfall.
Barlow’s story is outstanding. Hawken: Genesis includes betrayal amongst friends, shady political maneuvering, and a planet at war. The plot details are woven together intricately, to provide a great stand-alone story as well as a perfect entry-point into the online game.
While there are many artists featured in this project, I have to say that the pages done by Francisco Ruiz Velasco and Christopher Moeller blew me away. Both men have very similar styles. They each have an amazing ability to make you feel like you are watching a moving painting. Their images are vivid and spark the imagination, allowing you to become a part of the story. Velasco’s prelude art actually takes place after the events of the five main chapters while Moeller’s art in chapter five falls directly before the happenings of the prelude. I thought it was fitting to have the illustrators open and close the book, bringing the story full circle with similar styles.
Hawken: Genesis probably will not convince me to play Hawken—as I rarely play any games—but it has sparked my curiosity about the world in general. I would love to see a sequel to this book, but before I get ahead of myself, it’s without any hesitation that I highly recommend it to everyone reading this review. Get your hands on a copy now!