Image Comics 2016
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Tomm Coker
Coloured by Michael Garland
Lettered by Rus Wooton
This is one of those typical Hickman books, it’s well written, fascinating and centers around something ordinary, a murder, but is surrounded in so much more from the fringes that society have no clue moves among them. It’s the kind of stuff that stymies you and grabs your attention but leaves you feeling left out so then you have to keep reading to find a way inside the loop. It’s a brilliant way of writing this story and there’s no one who does it like Hickman.
To go along with that Tomm’s interiors are so amazingly detailed it’s scary good. From the opening and the graffiti on the Berlin Wall to the complete use of backgrounds, angles and perspectives that control the flow of the story are immensely impressive. There’s also the use of light and shadow here that can mesmerise the reader.
The opening here has all the hallmarks of this crazy creepy affair that sends the characters to a meeting in a manner that should never be able to exist. It’s that kind of imagination and thinking that makes us gravitate towards these types of Hickman’s stories. It also gives us a nice look at one of the characters we see later.
I love the idea of this board meeting and the families in this almost Mob style scenario but it's so much grandeur in scope that that’s the only way to try and describe it. These are the families that run the world unbeknownst to the rest of us. It’s got all the drama and tension that could possibly imagine and then amp that up by 1000% and it’s like that. The characterisation here utterly phenomenal and the arrogance and just what’s said it amazes me no matter how many times I read it.
Detective Dumas might have a found an ally in Dr. Gaddis. Between their conversation and the one that he has with Ms. Rothschild there is so much unspoken information here that he’s going to have to think long and hard about pursuing this. Though if anything is certain he’s a man who doesn’t quit and since his family is steeped in Vodou and his knowledge of it and how he uses it on cases well there’s nothing he’s unprepared for….until now. Even with having seen the security tape of the building of their victim and the imminent arrest of a suspect along with advice from another possible ally Dumas really is in way over his head and hasn’t realised it yet.
The way this story is being told is both familiar to Hickman fans and yet completely unlike anything he’s done in the past. This is daring, different and difficult to turn away from.