Apex Legends: Overtime #1 Spoiler-Free Review
If any comic book company is well-suited to take on a story featuring the mercs and mugs of Apex Legends, it’s easily Dark Horse Comics. The comic titan runs some of the biggest names in graphic novels, stretching across titles like The Umbrella Academy, 300, and Hellboy to tell some of the best stories the medium has to offer. Their connections to the dark and strange make them perfect for Apex Legends - a story that plays passively in the background of a battle royale that boasts revenge, homicide, and rebellion as champion themes. Now, as is clear with the first issue of the new four-part mini-series Apex Legends: Overtime, the story could be in good hands.
As the title might suggest, the story of Overtime spills over the edges of the Apex Games and sees Crypto take on a suspicious job that lands him and an unsuspecting Mirage in hot water with Revenant, under strict kill orders that threaten to jeopardise the job. This clash of the freelancers is an interesting one, and exploring Crypto’s meditative stoicism at odds with Mirage’s cocky charm is a great choice that offers the pairing with a fascinating dynamic that simply can’t be effectively explored with a few in-game voice lines.
Though the issue can only get through 20 pages of content before it closes out, it sets up a story that delves into Crypto’s past and allows itself to peek into the lives of the other legends without breaking a sweat. Writer Jesse Stern’s story is set up eloquently and concisely with this issue, and lays the groundwork for what could easily be a great addition to the dense lore of the Apex Games.
For the most part, Overtime can hold together a distinct visual style that certainly reflects a version of the games in a traditional comic-book style, but there are moments in the comic that show characters with wonky faces, or in some cases, whole wonky bodies. A moment in the opening of the story sees a collection of legends bunched together, with some of them sapped straight from the game with their default poses in a relatively low-quality manner, allowing colour to bleed so far into undetailed characters to the point where only the character’s pre-established designs leave them distinctive. We see Octane later on in the story in the same pose we first see him in at the beginning, engaged in dialogue that doesn’t match with his hyped-up positioning. It’s a peculiar choice to simply copy over player models that may have saved some time but has sacrificed immersion in the story.
Some panel structure leaves a bit to be desired too, with one sequence of a man being thrown out of a bar being presented without in-world context or any idea of where exactly they’re coming from.
But, the saving grace of the comic’s art is its presentation of the synthetic assassin Revenant, whose presence is everywhere and supported by his look upon his first appearance. He’s looming and sinister, just as we know him.
Overall, the first issue of Apex Legends: Overtime is promising. Visual titbits aside, the story is set up to be a curious one that explores Crypto’s mysterious past, and that may come to test Mirage’s flippancy and dedication to his teammates. It’s a read that might not engage Apex newbies to latch onto the game and its surrounding lore, but it very much has the potential to be a treat for fans of the series. Crypto mains especially. Overtime is the basis for what could be an excellent series - they just need to see it through.
Images via Dark Horse Comics