Review – Cyberpunk 2077: You Have My Word #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Bartosz Sztybor
Artwork: Jesus Hervas
Colourist: Giulia Brusco
Letters: Frank Cvetkovic
Release Date: April 2021
When reading the first issue of Cyberpunk 2077: You Have My Word for review, I really had to try hard to ensure that I was keeping my feelings for the game separate, so as to not let them sully my experience with the issue. That said, I thought that the issue was pretty good and I appreciated seeing the set up to tell a potentially bigger story across the next few issues.
Although the issue does take place within the same universe as the game, there are no characters from the game featured in the issue or vice-versa. This is a totally original story that simply uses the lore established in the game and the backdrop of Nightcity to flesh out the story being told.
It is actually fairly difficult to critique Bartosz Sztybor’s writing in this issue. This is because the dialogue in the issue captures the edgy, forced, ham-fisted dialogue from the game down to a tee. So in terms of recreating the nature of the game through character dialogue, Sztybor absolutely nails it here, the problem is, the dialogue in the main game is awkward garbage.
The dialogue in the issue reads like it was written by a teenage incel, but I feel like that is probably because it was written to match the terrible dialogue from the main game. So, good job on capturing the essence of Cyberpunk’s dialogue, it is just a shame that that essence is direly trite.
That said, the narrative being set up is a potentially intriguing one. The actual storytelling in the issue is well-written. Again, this would point towards Bartosz Sztybor being a good writer that has just unfortunately been forced to recapture the cheesy banter from the game for the sake of continuity.
The new characters that debut in the story are also intriguing for the most part, with Teresa, (the main character’s mother,) being my favourite by far. This woman shows resilience, anger, worry and badassery all within the issue’s brisk 22 pages.
I also very much enjoyed Jesus Hervas’ polished, poppy artwork in the issue. I liked the character designs and felt that the art also did well to recapture the aesthetic of the game. Every significant character looked distinct and unique and I also thought that Hervas did well to aid the writer’s intentions when putting across the emotions felt by each character respectively.
Giulia Brusco use of colours also helped the artwork to really leap off the page throughout the issue and again worked to bring across the look of the game onto print. There is clearly a very talented group of creators behind this project, which again helps readers to look forward to the potential that this story could have going forward.
Overall, the first issue of Cyberpunk 2077: You Have My Word achieved its intention of recapturing the feel of the game and managed to set up an intriguing story whilst doing so. It also established the foundation of some potentially stimulating characters and therefore I think that this issue is well worth a read. I am also curious to see where the story goes and will be picking up the next three issues when they drop.
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