Created & Written by Fred Boulos
Illustrated by Ivan Barriga
Coloured by Giuseppe Pica
Alright colour me intrigued. This is a Bourne or Military story run by someone we aren’t privileged to see who gives orders over a secure channel. All we get is this huge sense of urgency in detaining a man who is as of yet an unknown quantity able to live of the grid and is to be considered extremely dangerous. Fred manages to really give us some great emotions here and a lot of frustration as the man in charge of the operation receives his orders and bombarded with questions and orders of his own without explanations.
I like that we aren’t really introduced to the world they live in yet it adds an air of mystery that’s effective in ensuring that we want to come back to learn about it and understand what’s happened to get to this point. All I can say for certain is that this military organization sees the world as provinces and there seems to be no clear boundaries such as countries anymore and that in itself is intriguing.
Ivan and Giuseppe do some incredibly nice interior work here. While at times it does seem a tad amateur it has a nice consistency to the characters and the backgrounds and the tech we see as intel is gathered is nicely done indeed. The detail we get in the clothing is great as we see natural ripples in shirts and pants and then colours tend to be vibrant and well suited to what’s happening on the page, be it their military uniforms, backgrounds or computer generated.
So the target is apparently a 70 year old man and this alone makes the ground team, Alpha, cocky and overconfident from the get go. Kids think they are invincible and that someone like this poses no threat however as the issue goes on through the last issue we learn exactly why the Benefactor wanted this man brought in. He’s incredibly dangerous, effective and not afraid to kill. He has some incredible mad skills, smarts and training to make him so much of a threat that he needs to be dealt with.
That he isn’t chipped and can move around undetected or tracked by their software means they can’t always pinpoint his location even as we see using thermal imaging.
What we get here is an incredibly well told story that is extremely violent, though not gory and full of questions that leave you wanting answers. The premise is vague and yet clear enough that you know something isn’t right but is it the military or the this man who is the good guy remains to be seen. This adds to the mystery of what’s happening here and why this man has secluded himself as far from civilization as possible.
In thirty six pages we aren’t left with a lot of answers but we are left with a great sense of desire to learn. A very effective and well constructed first issue and one that demonstrates beautifully why self-published books continue to be on the rise and are more than worthy of your attention.