Review – Far Cry: Rite Of Passage #1
Review – Far Cry: Rite Of Passage #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artwork: Geraldo Borges
Colourist: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Release Date: May 2021
When I was asked to review Far Cry: Rite of Passage #1, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was concerned that this series might just be lazy marketing for the upcoming Far Cry game, but thankfully I was proven wrong. Instead this first issue helps to build on the story elements that we have already seen in the game’s trailers and calls back to past story elements in the series to help set the scene for the plot in Far Cry 6.
Bryan Edward Hill is clearly a very talented writer and I very much enjoyed his work in this issue. I also really appreciated how well-crafted the book is so far. The subtitle for this debut issue is ‘The Power Of Chaos,’ and Hill manages to capture that theme extremely well through the issue’s dialogue.
Speaking of the issue’s dialogue, every time that Anton Castillo spoke, I could hear Giancarlo Esposito reciting the lines in my head as I read them. This is a sign that the writer really understands this character and how he would think and talk in any given situation. It really helped the issue to feel authentic and like a proper teaser for the upcoming story in Far Cry 6 instead of just lazy marketing.
Hill also manages to get the complexities of the relationship between Anton and his son Diego across expertly. You can really feel the immense pressure that is being thrust onto the young boy’s shoulders as the heir to this empire built on fear and ruthlessness. Diego clearly has great respect for his father, but also great fear and those are very obviously not the same thing.
At the same time, Anton knows fine well that his son is not stupid and knows exactly the type of man that his father is. There is certainly a mutual respect between the two based on this. There is also a brilliant moment where Anton attempts to justify the brutally violent methods that he has employed over the years to Diego, however it is clear that he is equally trying to justify his actions to himself.
Another really cool element of this issue is the re-introduction of Vaas into the Far Cry lore. Vaas is dead during the time of this issue so he isn’t actually present in the story besides a short flashback sequence, however Anton uses the story of Vaas and his destructive, chaotic tendencies as a warning to his son.
I thought that this inclusion was a stroke of genius and I love the idea of the villains from Far Cry 6 learning from the mistakes made by past villains in the series and using their respective downfalls as cautionary tales. It really makes the respective entries in the series feel more connected and makes the franchise feel less disjointed overall.
It was also just nice to see everyone’s favourite exotic psychopath back for nostalgic reasons and I thought it was cool getting to see some of Vaas’ backstory and how he came to become the narcissistic sadist we meet in Far Cry 3. Additionally, the choice to feature Vaas also worked well to draw a parallel between the plots of Far Cry 3 & 6.
In summary, the writing in this issue is of a very high standard. Hill does a great job in fleshing out both old and new characters from the series and he is very talented with a deep understanding of the Far Cry lore. Something else I also appreciated about this issue was that although it was very dialogue heavy and no real action took place, it was never boring and I was engaged throughout the entirety of its 20 pages.
Geraldo Borges is in charge of art duties for the issue and also does a great job. His visuals tie in cohesively with the yarn that Hill is spinning and the art is on point throughout the issue. I particularly enjoyed the grandiosity of the architecture of the various buildings that feature in the book and thought that the lushness of the natural environment was captured beautifully.
Admittedly, Anton Castillo and Vaas don’t look exactly like Giancarlo Esposito or Michael Mando respectively, but are both close enough that you know who it each character is supposed to be. I also wonder if this is due to licencing issues with regard to the actor’s likenesses.
That said, the use of shading to show lighting is strikingly well implemented throughout the issue and adds a cool extra dimension to Borges’ artwork. The colouring by Michael Atiyeh also helps to really sell the tropical, sun-kissed look of Yara on the page.
Overall, I really enjoyed this first issue and how well it tackled the themes of legacy, pride and chaos. It not only got me even more hyped to eventually play Far Cry 6, but also made me feel more clued up as to who these new characters are and helped me to start to understand their mind-sets and perspective. Every villain is the hero of their own story after all.
If you enjoyed Dan’s review of Far Cry: Rite Of Passage #1, you can check out his recap of the recent Far Cry 6 livestream event that gave us 2 new trailers for the game here!
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