Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Marc Rosete
Coloured by Walter Pereyra
Lettered by Fabio Amelia
Rick Murphy is a regular guy who’s starting a new family and new career as a Philadelphia police officer. But when the rookie cop stumbles onto the wrong case, it triggers a horrific tragedy as his life comes crumbling down around him. Devastated and broken, Rick is given the chance to seek vengeance on those who have destroyed his life. Now, with a dark and mysterious power at his fingertips, Rick can seek the vengeance he thirsts for, but will the darkness ultimately be too much for him to control?
So I liked this it’s a very strong first issue. The opening was intriguing as we are introduced to a man who hones his skills has the Far East sense of honour, lives in what appears to be a dojo of sorts and has a rather impressive tattoo. Seriously well done here by Marc and Walter on that one it’s mighty impressive. Now we have no real idea what’s going on other than the fact this very scary man has been contracted for something and his honour will not accept the cancellation of said contract. Very nicely done and it’s gives a sense of mystery about what’s to come.
We move quickly into seeing Rick and his life as a new cop. I like the spotlight on him as we see him going through his day and then later at home. The characterization is really good and it’s easy to see why he was chosen as the lead character. Though to be honest the whole “bad things happen to good people” might be a bit cliche. It kind of has all the superhero origin type stuff happening for him as doing his job tragedy changes him. A little familiar feeling yeah but it’s all good.
There are a few things that happen throughout the issue that helps to set up the idea of what’s happening here. I say the idea because nothing has been given it’s all instances that almost seem random that are somewhat more connected as things progress. Our mystery man who wanted out but couldn’t cancel the job is identified. The implications for that are pretty nice in my opinion. There’s a mystery woman also introduced and we get just enough for something to be up with her but again vague.
There’s one page that kind of takes us to place where we see that Rick’s chosen but the who’s and why’s again not so much. It garners interest and you want to know so it’s effective at what it portrays.
This whole issue is set up so we are left with a lot of questions and just enough hints at answers so that we want to come back. Excellent characterization. Though a few holes as well, like how they found Rick is a big gap for me, Joe does need to work more on his transitions but he’s come a long way. I get there’s stuff he wants us to see but sometimes things happen and you are left scratching your head, It’s the little things that help flesh stories out and seeing how the tracked Rick to that spot was a missed opportunity to me.
Marc has a strong eye for storytelling and how the story should flow through the pages and panels.
Alright it’s not perfect but it’s a strong first issue and leaves the reader wanting to see what happens next.