Monday, 17 September 2012

Why I buy the Activity.

This week I've looking long and hard at all the comic book series I collect in the course of a month. Some have been no brainers as to why I pick them (Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Force and Earth 2) while others I've had no clue and have resolved to remove from my buy pile as soon as possible (I mean you Action Comics and Dark Avengers).

If this isn't the comic book version
 of "The Unit", I dunno what is

And then we come to the Activity. Deciding to base all my decisions on the most recent issue of each series, I had decided that this book just wasn't cutting it and so needed to be cut (funny play on words there). However, something told me I was being rash and so, with today (mostly) spare(That was a Sunday), I decided to read the entire series so far, issues 1 to 8. In doing this I realised something about this book.

With Art and story like this, I dunno
why I considered dropping this book.

What i realised was The Activity, about a military unit of covert operatives who go about partaking in missions that require a smart, subtle and covert touch, is not so much a comic book than it is a guilty pleasure for someone like me who enjoys something with no major continuity. This book is, essentially, the comic book equivalent of the A-Team, a kind of "the Unit" meets "CSI", with each issue practically a self contained story that may, only partially, have an impact on future instalments.

Reading through the series so far made me realise that I had been simply blowing through each issue and savouring each instalment as it came. In a world where every comic series is designed from inception to contain an ongoing, 20 issue, slowly growing in importance story arc, it is actually refreshing to be reading something that doesn't rely on this but instead tells a single story in a single issue, which would allow anyone to pick up any issue and get into this.
Now this doesn't mean that each issue has absolutely no relevance to future instalments, the world doesn't work that way (and in truth neither does the military I'd wager), but it's most likely how these kinds of teams work in the world; do a job, go home, move onto the next. This also the book to maintain the illusion of believability while, at the same time, retains it's format and style.
In the end, reading this series from beginning to present was the smartest thing I've done. It reminded me not just why I bought this book (because after "Who is Jake Ellis?" Nathan Edmondson is a REALLY smart writer) but, most importantly, why I continue to buy it. It probably also gives a clue that I'll be buying for a fair while to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment