Freedom Formula #1 (Radical Comics)
by Edmund Shern, Chester Ocampo & Kai
Freedom Formula strikes me as one part Speed Racer, one part Robotech and one part Blade Runner, but the end result strikes me as being rather derivative. Truth be told, this story of a future of NASCAR-like racing robots, a genetically engineered workforce and an outcast’s foray into the dark underbelly of a sprawling metropolis seems to me to be like something that was specifically designed to attract the attention of producers and investors in other media. We really don’t get much of the story in this first issue, just the establishment of some key players and the futuristic backdrop. I didn’t find that I was all that invested in what was happening, and as a result, I wasn’t all that interested either. Mind you, the anime elements at play in the premise aren’t the sort of fare that I’m usually interested in. The art is definitely the book’s biggest selling point. There’s an odd mix of traditional illustration, photo-referencing and computer graphics that dynamic and eye-catching. On the other hand, it’s not always easy to tell what’s going on. The anime/manga influences in the premise and setting are apparent in the artwork as well, but they’re not always overt. Fans of sci-fi anime are bound to enjoy Freedom Formula. It’s not my cup of tea, and I get the sense that “formula” part of the title is all too fitting. 4/10
Note: This comic book is slated for release Aug. 13.