Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2017
Written by Bryan Edward Hill
Illustrated by Rhoald Marcellius
Coloured by Sakti Yuwono
Lettered by Jaka Ady
So it didn’t take long for this to come to a head did it? Last issue we saw 56 in action and Hideki went after him, he’s a cop after all. It introduced us to this world the gangs and Pumpkin Juice whom I kind of secretly adore. It was a stunning debut that really left a very good impression, and let’s face with the sheer volume of books I read that’s impressive.
Bryan is a pretty amazingly solid writer who doesn’t do a lot of flourish and just kind of relies upon straightforward approach. I like that because here with these guys who don’t sugar coat things they tell it like it is. Hideki and his brother open the book with a little heart to heart discussion and it really is something that I wasn’t expecting to see so soon.
The way that this book is structured is very very nice to see. The way information is distributed here is done in ways I wasn’t exactly expecting. Now all throughout the issue we see 56 and his interactions and while I have more questions than answers from it all one thing remains I still have no idea what’s going on. Okay so what I have been able to garner is that the city is in trouble and it needs to be fixed and cleaned up but there doesn’t seem a viable option to do so. Aleph seems to have the brains and Hideki the brawn and something drew them apart and they need to come back together.
It would seem that 56 while unable to speak properly doesn’t have a problem making friends and while Pumpkin Juice sees the familiar fighting style of Blackdeath in him, something he noticed last issue, and I think we’re all wondering is 56 the same person? Well those answers and more are here but not in the way you would expect them. There is something about the way all this unfolds and comes about that feels incredibly organic to me, as if one event set off a chain reaction where one brother diverges from a path to take a new one which in turn causes the other to do things he may not chosen before. The whole cause and effect aspect of this intrigues me a lot.
I like the interiors here too. While the tech and suits may be a tad anime it still works because there is some nice attention to detail going on here. If Hideki’s nose hasn’t been broken several times I’d be surprised and that we can see that is shows some not only characterisation but nice talent as well. The use of page layouts so we can get those angles and perspective show a very strong eye for storytelling and that we see some nice use of backgrounds here is impressive. Plus there’s a creativity and imagination on display here that I found impressive.
So two issues in and there is a lot more happening here than I would have expected. This is standard issue count and it’s chock full of so much that you’d think it were oversized. So we have two brothers, 56 and the whole mystery surrounding him then there’s the gangs of which I’m not sure who we meet this issue thanks to Pumpkin Juice, yeah I like saying Pumpkin Juice. The Kings okay that’s who it is I guess but I am surprised that they all look so different as I'd have thought they’d have some kind of motif.
I like this, it’s the future but not too far, it has some relatable moments and characters, it’s well written and illustrated. There really isn’t anything not to like about this book.