Story: Ryan Parrott
Art: Marco Itri
Colors: Leonardo Paciarotti
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
What They Say:
With our heroes divided, Hale-19 must seek help from the most unlikely of sources as Amber-7T learns the dark secret behind the origins of RUST. Hope may be found, but lives will be lost in the climax of AfterShock’s futuristic robot buddy comedy.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The final installment of the Volition series lands and operates pretty much as expected, where it wraps up things in the here and now but offers potential for the future. The series struggled with some significant delays along the way and while Ryan Parrott’s story shines through in all six issues, the loss of the original artist definitely changed the view of the book. Marco Itri did a solid job with it but he has such a completely different style that was jarring and took me out of the flow of it as a whole. I did enjoy the back half of the run well enough but I also know that it’s not the book I had started with because of the artist change. It’s unfortunate yet at the same time I’m glad we’ve reached something resembling a conclusion.
With Ambery having been taken and under interrogation, protected by the hunters that have been assembled to get her, there’s some decent setup at the beginning for the fight that you know will happen. The book gives us an exploration of the past a bit more in showing how the woman that Amber trusted and believed in that brought the artificials to life is apparently behind their demise. It’s a tale that could be told easily without being true but it’s sold well in revealing that she created RUST in order to wipe away her mistakes and to allow humanity to phase it out slowly so as to not create a massive economic black hole if they were all shut down at once. It’s easy enough to believe on multiple levels just as it is that it’s not true and the good doc is actually a good doctor that is no longer in the picture.
Unsurprisingly, Drivas and Hale have a working understanding at the moment to free Amber so that Drivas can bring them in, resulting in her getting a little backup before making their play. The turns the back half of the book into standard action fare as various fights break out, some losses are incurred, and it does what it needs to in order to wrap up the story as it stands – while setting the next phase up as well just in case. Itri executes it well with the flow of the story through the panels but the main problem is that everything is just very much by the numbers. It has some cute moments along the way with a little more personality but not enough to break past the formulaic aspect of it. The trappings of the world are still enticing, however, and that’s what helps to nudge it along after the investment of the previous five issues.
Volition isn’t a bad book by any means and I think the first few installments were just beautiful and full of potential with a kind of old-style school of illustration that you don’t see much anymore. The finale is about as expected as there aren’t any real twists of note, the action hits the right marks, and it wraps up the initial storyline while leaving doubt and uncertainty in their proper place. I love that AfterShock continues to work in the science fiction side of storytelling, an area often lost in comics for a lot of reasons, and this one definitely stood out early on. I wish it had been able to capitalize on what it started with is all.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: June 5th, 2019