The fact that I wasn’t entirely impressed with Borderlands: Origins #1 really came as no shock to me. Despite being a Borderlands fanatic, even a well-drawn, decently-written comic that I got for free couldn’t make me give a damn about a character as bland as Roland. (That probably offends some soldier-lovers out there, and to them I say…I regret nothing. Your favorite character bores me.) The whole thing felt very cliché, and it just didn’t have that special something that the dialogue in Borderlands has.
And by something I mean attitude, mostly. Everything else fit. The art (by Augustin Padilla, with some exceptional color work by Esther Sanz) was near perfect, and the quality and style of rendering on the front cover followed all the way through to the last page – something rare in comics, I’ve found. But I just couldn’t get past the fact that I still didn’t care about Roland. At all.
So it was pure fangirlism and borderline obsession that made me pick up issue 2. …well, that and a huge lady-boner for Lilith. I mean, just look at her:
Anyway, despite the internet’s criticism of the word swag (get over it, people) I found this issue to fit right in with the BL universe. Mikey Neumann’s witty, snarky, and tongue-in-cheek writing entertains and leaves you wanting more, as we get a little look into Lilith’s past and then catch up with her right before she hops on the bus we all recognize. While nothing revolutionary was divulged and Lilith looks creepy as hell as a child, we do get to see the oldest of the sirens, as well as a nod to the other four sirens that exist…which was kind of cool, even if it wasn’t new information.
I really liked the way her phasewalk was illustrated and used in the story, but I’ve gotta say my favorite part, hands down, is her “My name is Lilith” rant. (…which will make every girl that’s had to deal with being called cutesy little names by total strangers just because you’re a chick want to give her a fist bump.)
Find out how Lilith started her journey with Mordecai, Roland, and Brick as her backstory about coming to terms with being a Siren unfolds. Learn how a young girl came to understand her incredible power, and how that power helped to save a world.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but that leads me to believe I might, you know, actually get to learn those things. I’d have appreciated seeing a bit more of what she was doing between the creepy-kid era and the bombshell-vault-hunter era – but instead we get a traumatic experience with no explanation, an introduction to the idea of a siren with no development, and then a fast-forward to Lilith as a badass. I guess I’ll hold out hope that that’s being saved for another time.
Problem two for me is Lilith’s tattoos/marks. I know this seems silly, but when we’re introduced to her as a child, she doesn’t have them for the first four frames. Dad dies, and then she does. Did I miss something? Did his death trigger her power and create the marks? Did the elder siren pass them to her then? Did the artist just screw up? You see my problem here.
Despite any qualms, I’m a total sucker for Borderlands so I’m still excited for #3 to be released January 23, when Mordecai gets his feature and we hopefully see some Bloodwing ♥. I’ll force my way through Brick’s issue in February, and then pray that they decide to turn this four-issue series into something much longer.
I’d love the chance to see some side stories that delve into characters a bit more, which is something Neumann expressed interest in during an interview with Comic Book Resources back in September.
I’d love to do a second set of one-shots for different characters. ClapTrap, Scooter, Moxxi, etc. Depending on how successful Gearbox and IDW are with this series, I can imagine doing all kinds of cool things within the demented sensibilities of the Borderlands universe.
Hear that, kids? Get out and buy these books, because I want to see more. And the second Tiny Tina shows up, it’ll make it all worthwhile, promise.