Zeb Larson reviews Tech Jacket #3…
The champion of the Colossus emerges to challenge Tech Jacket, while the President of the United States (you know who!) receives council from a strange advisor.
This is a pretty middling issue. There’s some action here that certainly looks nice, but none of it feels particularly dramatic or engrossing. Part of that is the problem with superheroic dramatic tension, which is to say that it doesn’t exist. The next couple of issues might be more interesting, as we build up to some kind of dramatic conclusion or denouement, but what happens here could easily be skipped over.
Our opener is a flashback where Zach speaks to his mom and she tells him how important it is to do the most with the time that you’re given. In the present, the badly-wounded Zach speaks with the alien entity. As it turns out, the being is essentially a form of cancer inhabiting this organic ship, which it demonstrates by merging with all of the different hostile aliens. Zack has a few tricks up his sleeve, though, and it doesn’t take much for him to separate the alien’s head using some “surgical tools.” The ship, seemingly in gratitude, begins upgrading Zack’s suit (against his wishes). Elsewhere, in a meeting between a scientist, a general, and President Obama, they are met by Stanley, the robotic accomplice of Mr. Crowe. He makes the assembled group the offer of the Tech Jacket Corps. Finally, Zack’s parents are met by Mr. Crowe, who offers to “save” Zack.
The fight sequences were certainly beautifully illustrated in this issue, but they lacked dramatic punch. It was stretching believability just a bit to have Zack make it through that fight with that enormous chest wound. Granted that I’m not 100% familiar with the Tech Jacket canon, he seemingly goes from being ashen-faced and dying to bouncing all over and not bleeding out while he’s doing it. It’s hard to tell a story with any believable dramatic tension if the main character appears to be basically invulnerable to harm, or at least the consequences of any harm. Likewise, the bad guy doesn’t really put up much of a fight. He hits Zack once or twice and then basically gets rolled over, making the entire sequence a set-up for the ship monkeying around with Zack’s suit.
At present, I am confused as to how this ship ties in at all with Zack’s girlfriend, who we still haven’t heard anything about since the first issue. The sequence with the president and the advisors felt unnecessary, as it didn’t let us know anything else about Mr. Crowe’s plans. It’s just a chance for some exposition that we don’t really need to understand the plot. The most interesting element here is Mr. Crowe’s manipulation of Zack’s parents, because he seems to be hitting them precisely where they’re the most vulnerable. This point only gets a couple of pages, unfortunately.
Perhaps if we get some answers next issue, that will keep things interesting and get Tech Jacket back on track. What’s going on with Zack’s parents is by far the most interesting plotline that has been fleshed out, and I’d like to see more of that.