Review: ‘Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – The Beginning’ Is a Solid Start to Leon Kennedy’s Next Assignment

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Leon Kennedy is off on another mission to save the world in TOKYOPOP’s newest graphic novel, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – The Beginning.

Set before the events of the animated series, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, Leon Kennedy is sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where a mysterious bomb is reanimating its victims. Between the terrorist cult and the virus that looks all too familiar, Leon must get to the bottom of these attacks before it’s too late.

Written by Keith R.A. DeCandido, inked by Carmelo Zagaria, and colored by Valentina Cuomo and Elisa Bartolucci, the blood and horror typical to the Resident Evil world isn’t held back even in these first five chapters. It’s quick to find the action, which is a plus for any franchise fan, the undead monsters wreaking havoc on unsuspecting victims much to Leon’s dismay.

While it’s really a look back on some of Leon’s adventures prior to his last few appearances in games and the CG-animated films, it fills in a lot of the blank space in Leon’s story where there’s room to play, and this has not disappointed in the first volume. He’s in true Leon Kennedy form, following his portrayal in the films in both appearance and general “exhausted from this constant stream of bullsh*t” demeanor. (And who can blame him by this point?)

The art is moody and dark, but vibrant, the style perfect for the unsettling atmosphere created by the T-Virus. It pays attention to detail while immersing readers into the world created on the page. The pace is perfect, not having too little or too much exposition, and it does well to let the art tell its part of the story while the dialogue does the rest. Its web of mystery is satiated enough in the first volume while throwing open the door on a much bigger issue Leon will have to tackle, promising an exciting series right from the start.

All in all, the graphic novel stays true to the heart of Resident Evil and its beloved Leon S. Kennedy, giving fans of the franchise and character some new content to enjoy in another medium. For stories like this, a graphic novel is the perfect way to explore these pockets of Leon Kennedy and Resident Evil lore, providing a new space to slow down and dive into moments that can’t be portrayed in film or games.

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – The Beginning is available for pre-order and releases March 5, 2024.

Kaity
Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. You can definitely find her either watching anime, reading manga, or playing the same five video games over and over again. Contact: kaity@nerdsandbeyond.com

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