I read Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #1 on a whim, and it hit me with a whammy. I'm skeptical of licensed work and tie ins because not every licensor is as easy to work with as Hasbro historically was with GI Joe. Regardless, Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #1 earned my undivided attention. Here's why:
- If American Ronin #1 was influenced by cyberpunk stories, this one's, well, it's in the name. Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team. It's a tie-in to the forthcoming multi-platform videogame Cyberpunk 2077 from Polish developer CD Projekt Red, it's unknown if there will be any cross-pollination between the two releases. But, all told, the comic's much better than I would've expected.
- There's a lot more action in this than I bargained for, which kept the issue fast-paced. Writer Cullen Bunn wrote enough comics that he makes the world-building go down smoothly, and Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team is a great example of it. I knew figuratively nothing about the Cyberpunk branded setting, and Cyberpunk 2077 didn't require me to.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team's first issue follows an EMT called Nadia. She works for a private company called Trauma Team International, a combination of medics and SWAT. Her team goes on a disastrous job, and she's the sole survivor. It's a great way to humanize an in-game mechanic. The cliffhanger for the issue's great and makes me want issue two immediately.
- Artist Miguel Valderrama is always clear, but there's usually a stylistic bit of visual noise ala Nathan Fox. Jason Wordie's colors mesh well with the setting. Their collaboration gives the impression of a high energy, messy style without being difficult to follow. The team nails the tone, with bright neon where there's supposed to be, and darker colors in the slums.
- Overall, Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #1 is one of my favorite comics from Dark Horse this year. Admittedly, it's a slim year, but it would have made it in years with a fuller publication schedule.