Don't let the "after" of the title confuse you, this is actually a prequel to Rage!
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Comic title: RAGE: After the Impact
Written by Arvid Nelson
Drawn by Andrea Mutti
Published by Dark Horse Comics
From November 2011
Lineup RAGE video game series
Format: Digest-sized softcover trade paperback, collecting the limited series RAGE: After the Impact issues issues #1-3.
The video game franchises of id Software are not new to other mediums. While they have usually been very protective of their ips, they did allow some of their series to cross over films and comics. Not even counting the countless novelization most if not all their titles have received.
I'm mostly thinking about Doom here. Doom has been made into a fan-favorite infamous over-the-top comic book as well as a very lackluster film adaptation. There's also been talks of a Wolfenstein film, but that has been stuck in development hell for ages.
The latest to date is RAGE. A really fun relatively recent game in the style of The Road Warrior. While RAGE's reception was lukewarm at best, it was a really gorgeous looking game featuring a fairly interesting post-apocalyptic setting. id Sofware's new partnership with Bethesda also means there would be a bigger push to expand their creations into all kinds of material, Rage was adapted into an iOS tech demo as well as yet another novelization.
This tie-in Rage comic book was published by Dark Horse Comics, who aren't new to licensed material. It's a three-issue limited series written by Rex Mundi and Zero Killer creator Arvid Nelson, and illustrated by Andrea Mutti. Rage's creative director and id Software veteran Tim Willits worked on this comic, ensuring it would stick pretty close to the world presented in the game.
The story in this comic is set before the events of the game. Rage takes place in a post-apocalyptic world after this huge asteroid devastated mankind. Now a few remaining humans are trying their best to survive in a world that gave birth to a new species of mutants!
The Earth is destroyed. All that is left is a few remaining surviving fractions of what mankind used to be, scratching on the surface!
The plot opens as this female "Ark Survivor" emerges from one of those life-sustaining Arks buried deep below the surface before the impact of the asteroid. Her name is Elizabeth Cadence, she used to be a really important scientist back then, hence how she came to join the Ark program. She soon discovers a brutal unfamiliar world outside. She's immediately attacked by Wasted Clan bandits, but this new global military dictatorship called the Authority come right on time to pick her up and save her from a certain demise. They tell her they couldn't arrive on time to save her son and husband, sadly...
The Authority wants to make good use of a new scientist, and she's quickly put to work for them, trying to understand control the wasteland's mutations. At the Black Cauldron Project, she's assisted by an old scientist named Doctor Antonin Kvasir.
She soon learns more about her Ark pod, and discovers the Authority lied to her and the other survivors! The Authority was responsible for these monsters, they had been working on a way to create super soldiers with nanotrites! They were accidentally responsible for the creation of the mutants!
Elizabeth and Kvasir finally break free and decide to let all the mutants out in order to escape from this dead city! Kvasir is blinded, Kvasir's giant mutant runs amok and kills most of the Authority forces!
Finally they escape into the outside world. Elizabeth joins an anti-Authority Resistance...
All in all, this was a fairly interesting look into the lore and the backstory of the game. Yet I kinda feel like this would have been better enjoyed in the game itself, it's all there though, kind of hinted in Rage!
It's pretty short and throws a lot of exposition at the reader.
The tone is certainly there and respected faithfully.
The art of Andrea Mutti is kind of sketchy, but detailed enough and it just fits Rage. Some great faces and expressions, but some of the more action-packed scenes were kind of messy.
And finally a word on the gorgeous covers by Stephan Martinere! They're quite old school, on purpose. Kind of reminiscent of the old Doom comic book and those 90s comics cover art. They really set the tone!
Overall, RAGE: After the Impact is a fun short tie-in comic for the game RAGE.
It's a pretty short but fitting prologue chapter that almost feel could have been a (long) introduction cutscene to the game.
It's fun, but it doesn't feel important enough you would feel like missing something out of it. It does tell some backstory for background elements from the game, but it's an entirely forgettable chapter for characters you can meet in the game. Check it Out if you were a fan of the game, only.
One thing's for sure, it's no DOOM comic... speaking of Doom...
I give it: