I’ve got to hand it to Marvel… way to cheap out. They apparently got so cheap with Pascal Ferry, instead of paying him to draw three more panels, they zoomed in his artwork. The digital artifacts are obvious.
Otherwise, the issue is a lot like the previous one. Yost does better with the summarizing and adapting, but he’s still unable to turn the titular character into the protagonist. The problem is probably the source novel—not to mention however many restrictions Yost had in plotting the issues—but it still makes for an awkward read.
Besides, with the visualizing of the child army, the whole thing seems absurd. Only when the comic is shocking violent—one kid breaking another’s nose or something—does it suspend disbelief. Otherwise, it just seems like the dumbest property Disney ever tried to exploit.
And Ender’s Game is pre-Disney, so who knows the excuse?
Yost seems to be getting it. By it, I mean how to adapt. He doesn’t resolve the previous issue’s cliffhanger, which means he doesn’t give the reader information about supporting cast–Ferry’s still inept at differentiating, so why bother–but he also doesn’t explain the battle game.
Instead, details about the battle game come out organically in the story. Sure, there’re a few sentences of exposition, but they’re brief and in a lecture so they work.
Still, it’s hard to support the series. Yost isn’t making the same mistake he made last issue, but he hasn’t all of a sudden made Ender’s Game good. As a writer, one can see he’s just cashing a paycheck. I don’t think he shows interest in a single element of this issue.
And Ferry’s no more engaged. Without anything to design (with one exception), he’s just drawing mediocre action and abbreviated talking heads pages.
From the first page, Yost starts having adaptation problems. He’s artificially breaking a novel into issues, which means it has no flow to it. There’s no gesture to the issue. He can’t even come up with a good cliffhanger.
Worse, he’s now summarizing enough scenes Ferry can’t keep it straight. Some of those problems aren’t from Yost though. Ferry has one scene where he loses track of the characters in it. An indeterminate amount of time passes from panel to panel; it’s often confusing.
And since most of the characters are kids, Ferry’s stylistic choices fail. It’s impossible to keep them apart.
Maybe the worst is the final scene, when all the kids are in battle suits and there’s no way to tell them apart. But even if they were distinguishable, Ferry can’t make the action make sense. It’s too much going. He’s not an action artist, he’s a designer.
Why turn a novel into a comic book? I don’t mean that question to dismiss Ender’s Game but to frame the discussion. There’s a point in adapting movies… advertising. But to adapt a successful novel?
It’s an interesting idea and Christopher Yost does fine. He basically keeps the novel’s dialogue, just cuts down the scenes, leaving only the salient events.
The real star is Pasquel Ferry. The art is stylized and design-heavy, but it’s always interesting. He mixes different future styles, not really creating but throwing it all in a pot. Ferry’s Ender’s Game looks like old magazine ads for the future. Visually, the comic is always engaging.
Between Yost and Ferry, the violence is handled half well, half not. Ferry can’t illustrate the psychological violence and Yost is pretty constrained too… he only does dialogue. He can’t sell the fear.
It’s an interesting project, but not particularly compelling.