Zero #9

by Vannary Sok on July 24, 2014

Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Tonci Zonjic
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
After the events in the second arc, Ales Kot continues to build mystery and intrigue with Zero #9. A series driven by its non linear narrative since the series began, I should've expected as much.
This time, Kot travels back to Bosnia 1993 to reveal crucial details about Zizek, agent Zero's handler, who in previous issues I really couldn't care less about. By doing so, Kot ends up developing an emotional attachment between the reader and the character, especially in lieu of what occured in the last arc. I was shocked but not swayed emotionally by the recent events until I read this issue and you actually feel pity for Zizek. Initially I thought this issue might not be the greatest jumping on point for new readers but the beauty of Kot's non linear approach is that if someone were to read issue #9 first, become interested, then start right at the beginning of the series (now available in trade!) some parts within the series so far would actually hit you harder in the gut just from learning the information in issue #9.
As always, the artwork's fantastic. Colourist Jordie Bellaire provides a very grim noir feel. There are some panels that appear more abstract which initially, I felt were being wasted. But the longer I looked at them, the more I got caught up in the disorientation and the feeling of loss the character felt. Loved the pages though where artist Tonci Zonjic takes the time to create a really cool shot - several panels are used to do a zoom out from a room in a house through a small hole in the window (possibly from a bullet?) to the park across the street. It could've been choppy but Zonjic successfully executes a seamless swooping shot that made it feel like it belonged in a film.
Issue #9 is a slow sinking issue. The more I think about it, the more I actually like it. A good espionage story is not just about the thrilling action but about all the dark secrets that eventually come out to play and what kind of havoc that will create on or amongst the characters and how they react to it. With the way this issue ended, it feels like it's headed in that direction and speculation is given to what or who is going to be effected later on.
While initially lacking some thrill, Zero #9 makes up for in art and for turning out to be a very important piece to the overall big picture.

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