Image Comics 2015
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Declan Shalvey
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
I love when I have no idea what it is I’m reading but this is from the mind of Warren Ellis and that means it’s going to be good. Plus he’s got Declan and Jordie providing the visuals so this was a no brainer for me to read. It starts off with us meeting Maria who is at Sawling Hospital a very old quaint building seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Thanis the Declan and Jordie we see a woman who isn’t fully there, she’s been through a lot and you can see that just looking at her.
She has a meeting with this old woman whose creepy as hell looking and is quite comfortable in her own power. The dialogue here is incredible and very revealing as the conversation has this whole tangent thing about it demonstrating beautifully how Maria, Professor Killbride, thinks. We also get a quick recap of the people they work for and it’s a nice little convoluted history told somewhat haphazardly but effectively. The older woman, called Control, manages the Cursus some agency of importance the FPI.
It seems that Maria is wanted to hunt down an actionable making her an agent of some kind. Control implicates that these problems they want her to deal with might have something to do with her former organization, Cultural Cross-Contamination Unit. Cue flashback and full meeting and introduction of the members of the unit. Important yes because Maria turns to a colleague from that unit for help before going out on her latest acquisition.
Then we meet Dr. Robin Morei as he has an unexpected meeting from the Permanent Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Time and Measurement. That would be the agency Maria is being forced, coerced whichever word fits, to work with as well. He’s also a member of the Unit and he was the final member recruited. Again he’s fabulous and his thinking is right up there with Maria’s in that he’s probably a genius who can’t stop a train of thought as it comes out of his mouth while discussing anything. Him I’m more intrigued by from meeting the unit to this woman he piques my curiosity and Declan & Jordie make him fairly attractive and overall he kind of possess this Doctor Who Doctor persona.
This has something of an X-Files feel to it but it goes further than that like the tip of the iceberg and then combine it with Torchwood and throwing in Government shade and intrigue and you’ve got a story where you no real idea what’s going on but you're terribly interested in finding out what it’s all about. We have this innate desire to discover the unknown and see if we can figure out what’s happening before it’s revealed, something to do with proving our own intelligence and yes we all do it.
This crew present just enough to really suck you into a story you’ve no real solid information about what it is supposed to be about and yet you’re fascinated by the characters the mystery and the final page this guy who shows up to see Bridge, the woman Maria turned to, because well seeing is believing. Plus the interior artwork reinforces just how spectacular a story can be when it works with the story to enhance the reading experience.
Welcome to the unknown hope you enjoy your stay because it’s dark, creepy and shady as all get out making this an experience to remember.