Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Matt Hawkins
Created & Illustrated by Rashan Ekedal
Coloured by Mike Spicer
I’m a huge fan of this story already it just has such a universal appeal about it from a group of Hackers wanting to change the world to two FBI Agents with conflicted reasons for wanting to stop them from robbing their targets, mega churches that pollute what the word of God should be about for personal/financial gain. You are mixing two groups whose ideals would normally be the same but going about it in totally different ways. Government investigations into mega churches raking in money by the millions and getting away with it in the name religion should be a common occurrence while the Samaritan group is fed up with these people getting away with breaking the law in various ways and exposing them for it. How much good could come if they’d work together instead of one breaking the law and antagonizing the other?
Matt’s writing just keeps getting better and better as he reaches new heights and the level of characterization here is outstanding. He’s brought these folks to life and given them real lives with different reasons for doing what they are and yet they are so believable you feel like you already know them. The way this issue starts off too is this remarkable demonstration of the power that computer hackers have in this day and age. How they can manipulate situations divert attention from where they really are and create the kind of havoc that can be used for either good or terrifying reasons.
I do like that we get to see more of the crew that makes up Samaritan. Granted it started off as one person and she was able to do the hacking and account transfers on her own but when things got to the point where they had to physically rob the church well she needed a crew and well it’s an interesting mix that’s for sure. Rachel and Mike are quite a pair and I have to wonder why they agreed to be a part of this granted they do provide some great comic relief moments before getting serious. Oh and thanks Rashan cause he’s kinda hot too and the belly shot on the bed nice.
I love that they case the joint and we don’t really see the extent of what they do but that’s okay because we already have a great sense of how thorough Sam is and then to see the Church in question want the FBI off his property, HIS not GODS yeah cause this guy with own security presence has it all under control. If I were them i’d sit back let it happen and tell him it’s his own fault you told us to stay away and now were not aiding you in recovery still they are the government and I suppose have to do what they can to stop Samaritan.
There’s a social commentary running here it’s not subtle but neither does it hit you over the head and you take from it what you will. I do like the conflict the two FBI guys have in the way they see things, Dwayne with his faith and James who agrees with what Samaritan is doing being made to look bad as his skills aren’t up to hers computer wise and yet neither seem to be really that into catching them but would rather bust the churches for violations.
This is a great take on a modern day Ocean’s 11 type adventure thriller, it’s well written with excellent pacing and nice interpersonal drama. With fantastic interior artwork that is nicely detailed, full of expression and tension and emotions it really helps to get the reader involved in the story. Not to mention there are those moments that visually define things the way words can’t helping us getting the bigger picture of the people involved.
Matt’s got his pulse on what’s relevant today and you can feel he’s feels passionate about this story and you get the sense it’s personal to boot. This really is one of those stories people need to be reading.