Titan Comics 2015
Written by Nicole Phillips
Illustrated by Beni Lobel
Coloured by Esther Sanz
During a televized civil-rights rally, charismatic political activist RYAN DUPONT was arrested and bundled into the back of a police van where he was assaulted by an unknown attacker, who drugged and forced him to swallow a small explosive device, before escaping unseen. Dazed and confused, Dupont stumbled from the van pleading for help but died when the ingested bomb exploded, simulating a gun-shot, which panicked law enforcement officers and an FBI agent into shooting him, thus framing them for his murder.
Recognizing the handiwork of Dupont’s assailant as that of terrorist-for hire LEON KIKLINSKI, RAYMOND ‘RED’ REDDINGTON alerted special FBI agent LIZ KEEN that a new Blacklister was targeting the FBI.
Agents Keen and RESSLER’s investigation into Kiklinski led them to the man who had uploaded Dupont’s assassination to the web. However, Kiklinski killed him before the agents could interview him, booby-trapping his body and leaving behind a note declaring that his next bomb target would be on the state Governor’s house.
Meanwhile, Red realized a more deadly player was at work behind the scenes, orchestrating and manipulating events, although toward what purpose remains unclear...
What I like about what Nicole is doing here is that she’s writing this like a different take on a classic story like Bourne. There’s plenty of action and mystery mixed in with some excellent characterization. The story itself is simple the team goes up against an opponent that with their rules and regulations the FBI isn’t as equipped to handle as they think they are so Agent Keen and Reddington use their resources to even the playing field. The way it’s being handled here reads like an arc in the series but with a lot more oomph going on since they aren’t restricted by the shows aired length to put it all into.
Though this shares many similarities to traditional comic books with the Gambler being the main bad guy and his gimmick of being the house and rigging the odds in his favour so he’ll win when setting up his games and Keen acting more like the heroic detective out to take him down so the translation to this medium flows naturally and seamlessly. Plus we get a look at a lot of different characters and their personalities and roles shine in this book allowing us to really get a look at how Keen fits into the larger picture while also revealing things about her even she didn’t know.
Inherently there’s something extremely fascinating that an organization like the FBI is so vulnerable to influence and attack proving that the government isn’t as strong or prepared as they like to believe they are that draws fans to it. Whether we admit it or not majority of American’s are mistrustful of the United States Government and its organizations either because of scandal’s, information leaks and self serving politicians and a lack of what see as “For the People” from Washington. So we already have a great interest factor here and part of us loves they need to be bailed out by the infamous Red Reddington and his protege Elizabeth Keen.
I love the interiors here too. Titan has some of the most exciting artists working in comics today that we are just now getting introduced to through series like this. What they bring to the pages is dynamic, detailed, full of life and expression not to mention mood setting in ways that can you feel frustrated, anxious or even happy.
Titan is the future of multi-faceted, television & comic books, franchises. They treat it differently than any other company and their passion and interest in what they do shines for the reader.