The story continues in issue two of the Rise of Raam series from IDW. For those that don’t know, or missed my last review, Gears of War: Rise of Raam follows the story of Raam, the main antagonist and leader of the Locust in the first Gears of War game. Joined by Skorge (who also happens to be the main bad guy in Gears of War 2) Raam is trying to convince the Locust Queen to redirect the onslaught of their war to the surface, since the one against the lambent isn’t working so well.
Raam believes that fighting such an easy war will boost morale, and give them additional fighting power against the lambent in the long run. Naturally, many of his peers and superiors are skeptical, while others are downright refusing to acknowledge the possibility that they might lose this war. Issue two tackles the fallout Raam and Skorge experience at the hands of Sraak and the High Council.
We join our dynamic duo right as a Corpser attacks their unit. Turns out, the Corpser was sent by Sraak and the High Council in order to either kill Raam or convince him to return to his duties as Vold leader.
Win By Losing
Since issue two is where the story is building, there’s not a lot of new events that end up occurring here. We know Raam and Skorge’s goals as a team, but the hows of accomplishing them are still up in the air. Some of the High Council seem to be coming around to at least acknowledging Raam’s point, while others still prefer to exist in denial of the situation. Since things aren’t progressing at a fast enough rate for Raam, he instead starts to take matters into his own hands.
While sending Skorge to deal with the Temple of the Trinity, Raam arrives at The Expansion Hollow to speak with Vold Karn. Upon Karn expressing his worries of what he suspects is about to be a full scale invasion through the Outer Hollow, Raam informs him of a plan to assist in their battle. Give up the fight now. Let the Lambent take The Hollow. By doing so, the Horde will be forced to take the surface.
As Raam deals with the particulars, Skorge is sent to convince The Temple of the Trinity of a vision he did not have that The Hollow would fall at the urging of Raam. Believing that this will kick things into gear if losing the battle does not, Skorge returns to the temple he was excommunicated from to inform the Ketor’s of this false vision.
Skorge is quite literally kicked out as he attempts to enter, but just so happens to run (or fall) directly in the path of the man he is looking for. Sadly, convincing Ketor Vrol doesn’t work the way Skorge or Raam might have hoped, but neither of the two has any time to deliberate over the issue as the Lambent breach to sector of the Hollow where the Temple resides.
It’ll Age Like Wine. Do The Locust Drink Wine?
Kurtis Wiebe and Max Dunbar have done it again. Is there really much else to say?
Since writing the review of Rise of Raam #1 I have gone and read the first trade of Rat Queens which is one of Wiebe’s more well known series. Suffice it to say I’m now officially a fan, and am eager to see how a series like Gears expands Wiebe’s writing. Snark and wit are definitely Wiebe’s strong points, and despite those things not sounding like good fits for Rise of Raam he still manages to do so and make it seem both believable and fresh. Coupled with Dunbar’s amazing art and coloring by Jose Luis Rio, I really can only expect this series to get better the same way that a fine wine ages.
That may seem like a tad much for a comic series about a video game. A video game about guys without necks who literally shoot at everything to solve their problems, but trust me, the comic is worth it. Maybe it qualifies as guilty pleasure reading, but I don’t care. For guilty pleasure reading, this is some damn fine quality. I’m legitimately having fun reading these books. I’m laughing when I don’t expect to be laughing and enchanted by the artwork when I least expect it to be. In a way, Rise of Raam is literally adding color to a world that the original Gears of War games never managed to do somehow.
I’m also enjoying the Spartan influences that Locust military culture seems to be modeled after. You see it more in the language than the design or style of how things work, but it’s a subtle influence that surprised me.
If you haven’t yet, pick up issues one and two now from IDW. You won’t regret it.
Gears of War The Rise of Raam #2 was published and distributed by IDW on February 21st, 2018. Sale price $3.99
Full Disclosure: This review copy of Gears of War The Rise of Raam was given to HeyPoorPlayer by the publisher.