TRIM SIZE: 8.375″ x 10.875″
In the 11th Millennium of the rule of the Eternal Empress, a squad of planet-smashing super soldiers find their routine mission to be anything but. These are the Forged. They take no prisoners.
Written by GREG RUCKA & ERIC TRAUTMANN and brought to the page by MIKE HENDERSON, embark upon an over-the-top pulp adventure of sex, violence, and sci-fi inspired by Conan, Heavy Metal, and other comics you tried to hide from your parents.
AIPTThe Forged is a sci-fi comic about an imperialist Navy and the strapping queer ladies who protect and serve it. Also, a mysterious scantily-clad mysterious woman who is mysterious. If someone described it to me in a vacuum, I would know it’s a Greg Rucka comic. That is a compliment. Every ingredient that’s ever made up a Rucka comic is here. We’ve got a broken society built on capitalism and imperialism, we’ve got super soldiers upholding everything with their powerful bodies, queer women being talked down to by their male inferiors, crazy depressing future—it’s got it all. This bleeds Rucka in and out, and for someone who’s a fan of his, it’s like candy. (...) Something that I also found noteworthy has to do with the rest of The Forge’s design as a book—namely the info pages in the backmatter of the book—but also more broadly the way it wears its inspirations on its sleeve. It is impossible to read this comic and not understand that Rucka, Trautmann, and Henderson are huge sci-fi nerds, and a lot of this feels as whole as it does because they use shorthand that sci-fi readers/watchers/players are sure to understand. Stuff like The Expanse, Halo, and Mass Effect are at the fore to varying degrees, but what the design most replicates are RPGs, which makes sense, as that’s a big part of Trautmann’s creative background. The backmatter very much feels like a sourcebook in the best ways. Across the board, though, this feels like a love letter to everything sci-fi from Star Wars to Warhammer 40K. It’s the kind of thoughtful action/sci-fi story that doesn’t lose track of its genres, but still manages to be about something.
ComicBook.comEven if the plot doesn't feel like it's going anywhere until the final few pages, that's something completely forgivable due to the expansive world introduced in the pages before. It's a dynamic comics universe with even better artwork and together, this creative team has made a genre-spanning smash.
Comic WatchThe Forged is 64 pages cover to cover of a creative team firing on all cylinders. The result is a sexy adult, action packed, space opera romp filled with interesting characters, six packs, eyeball popping visuals and glorious science fiction on a marvelously grandiose scale that is elevated by every aspect of it's construction. Strap yourselves in folks and get ready for a hell of a ride!
Monkeys Fighting RobotsTHE FORGED #1 is a gorgeous oversized book. Rucka creates an indie film with heart, and then Trautmann, Henderson, and Woodward elevate THE FORGED to a blockbuster movie with the artwork. This was a fun read and hooked me on the concept and the mystery. The best part of the issue is how Rucka and Trautmann creates a bond between the reader and the female team of grunts, the Forged. You are right in the trenches with them, and you might get covered in some grease if you don’t watch out. Image Comics calls it an over-the-top pulp adventure of sex, violence, and sci-fi inspired by Conan, Heavy Metal, and other comics you tried to hide from your parents. The way the “navy” officers were designed and the color the palette used, THE FORGED felt like an R-Rated version of Robotech. Since this is a female-led book, it was interesting to look at the “camera angles” used in the panel layout and who was the object and who was the subject. Also, there is a character named Cassandra. In Greek Mythology, Cassandra means the one who shines and excels over men. Rucka gives you layers in THE FORGED; how deep you want to go is up to you. THE FORGED #1 is a must-buy because of its concept, depth of story, and over-the-top artwork.
Comic Book RevolutionEvery element of an epic space soap opera shows itself in The Forged #1. We got political intrigue involving space military force. There is a supernatural force that you don't get a clear idea if they are any side or just out for themselves. All that is tied together with characters that you immediately know are badasses who will be kicking ass. It all comes together for a great start to a new cosmic adventure that leaves you excited to find out where Eric Trautmann, Greg Rucka, and Mike Henderson take the story next.
Lyles Movie FilesWriters Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann kick off The Forged win an eventful manner. Not all of it is particularly cohesive, but it’s definitely not a boring read. (...) Mike Henderson’s gorgeous art is enthralling from the characters to the mechs and space backdrops. It’s quite the visual playground further enhanced by Nolan Woodward’s captivating colors. The Forged is a title where it could go either way — from a wild sci-if action romp with some risqué material thrown in for fun or a series that can’t quite reach its lofty potential. The first issue suggests it’s going to be more of the former making The Forged a final frontier worth exploring.
Impulse GamerMike Henderson (Children of The Atom, Nailbiter, Taskmaster), Nolan Woodard (King in Black, The Amazing Spider-Man, Heroes Reborn), and Mark Maher (Transformers: Shattered Glass II) lend their prolific talented skills to deliver optimal storytelling visuals. Compared to the writing, the artists matched the same level of devotion to the comic book. In terms of illustration, the linework and colors of the interior exceeded expectations. Panel-to-panel was synced with lettering, which added a nice touch of clear composition. The cover of the comic book accomplished a great deal of curiosity and draws attention. It’s vibrant and gives a hint of what the future may come to for Victory. However, the fascinating aspect of this comic book is that it has a fully fleshed-out backstory, map, and quotes pertaining to the unspoken details left out. Normally, this would be seen in hardcover editions, but not here. Uniquely, information dives deeper for those readers who want to know more about the world the main characters live in. The takeaway from this comic book is that it appears to only just beginning to get started. There’s a hunch that the next issue of this comic book will be riddled with carnage, sexy time, and mind-boggling excitement. Mind you, this is not rated for everyone as it does depict a few graphic panels not suited for minors. It’s one of those comic books that a person hides from their parents. Hitting shelves and online platforms, The Forged #1 is an engaging story with the potential to explode with elation. If you wish to follow the story, be sure to check in with your local comic book store or shop online where they are available for purchase.
POP: Culture and ComicsThe Forged #1 is a fun and inventive beginning to what I think will become a dynamic and expansive series. Though the script leans too heavily on brashness in certain moments, this does not deter from the well-executed introduction of both the main characters and an alien universe.
Graphic PolicyThe Forged #1 is forged from a lot of what’s come before. In the description it’s mentioned that it’s inspired by Conan, Heavy Metal and “other comics you tried to hide from your parents.” In its DNA is also Aliens, The Fifth Element, Starship Troopers, and a lot more. None of that is a bad thing but it also puts the pressure on to deliver something that’s a bit different from all of those elements. Unfortunately there’s only a little of that. What gives the series hope is its core of characters, the actual tactical team being sent on the mission. Their comradery and interactions save the comic and make it entertaining enough to check out as well as continue on to the second issue. Likeable characters, though each fitting a certain role, keep things going and make the read worth it. What’s also worth it is Mike Henderson‘s art. With color by Nolan Woodard and lettering by Ariana Maher, The Forged #1 is an intriguing start taking place mostly on a ship. It’s all rather unremarkable for the most part, creating an almost sterile feel to the issue. And that’s actually interesting. With intriguing character designs in the stories they tell, it’s a world that feels a bit “clean” but with a slight grime just underneath the surface. There’s some great colors that pop at times enhancing intriguing page layouts at key moments. There’s nothing inherently bad about The Forged #1. It’s entertaining sci-fi action. It’s problem is so far it’s sci-fi action we’ve seen before. The troops getting their orders preparing for the drop on a mission you know is going to get fubar. It’s rather pain by numbers in that way. Still, it’s an entertaining read setting up potential for an intriguing world and hopefully more interesting mission to come.
Multiversity ComicsAs indicated by the solicitation’s mentions of mature themes, Rucka and Trautmann give quite a lot of those in “The Forged” #1. However, their use is anything but “mature,” instead bringing up profanity and adult subjects as if written for a far less mature audience, with cursing thrown around not as if it were a natural type of speech or for emphasis of certain situations, but instead just to prove how “adult” the story is, effectively trying so hard to look like it is not a children’s story that it wraps back around to be extremely immature. To be clear, profanity or subjects deemed profane are not in and of themselves bad to touch, but the treatment of such subjects is the immature element, especially disappointing after seeing more measured approaches from Rucka especially in series such as the aforementioned “Lazarus” or “The Old Guard” that can genuinely be considered mature. The story may be lacking, but Mike Henderson does his best to make it palatable with his artwork. Though not as stylized and intriguing as his work on the likes of “Nailbiter,” the approach he takes in his illustrations does do a good job with the physicality and emotion of the various people. With a variety of characters, including apparent protagonist Victory, Henderson shows his expertise with facial expressions, both smooth in the execution and showing a rougher side to more hardened figures. The use of enclosed areas of certain spacecraft further enhances the already intense focus. His wider areas are also well-executed, with panning shots giving a scope of how large an area is, along with the relative size of certain vehicles being used by the Forged themselves, as well as the vast open nature of outer space itself. The perspective on images of those vehicles, including what seem to be robotic suits, really digs into the weight of them, making the entire setting of “The Forged” #1 feel just a bit more “real.” Nolan Woodard is primarily known for his work at Marvel Comics, but his expertise with colors truly shines in “The Forged” #1 as well. The darkness of some areas stands out when put against the bright light of holographic interfaces. The deep browns and reds of a planet surface stand out against the grays and greens of the spaceship above. All of these hues stand in direct contrast to the cool purples and blues associated with the Cassandra, putting the ethereal nature of her powers into direct contrast against the mechanical setting that surrounds her.