Skybound/Image Comics 2016
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by Niko Walter
Coloured by Dan Brown
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
Scott Graves sold his soul, now he has to hold up his end of the bargain. But his target, the New Age Novo organization, has a history that runs deep... and corrupts all it touches.
There’s something kind of awesome about this book as it is unsettling. So this issue we learn more about Scott’s past and that’s a welcome thing. I mean it helps explain why he is so ready to accept that Aeshma is a real being and while I still maintain it’s possible she’s a figment of his imagination, both his explanation and mine are given more credibility. It also expands a lot of the suspect pool and people he can draw from to fulfill his quota which we’ll get to later.
I like the opening the dialogue from this guy is relatable to everyone who has a furbaby. You’ll go hungry before you let them go hungry. He seems like a paranoid hoarder but he’s a target for Scott’s new alter ego. I gotta say this line of questioning is incredibly gross, fascinating and boy does he got off on this. I mean i’ve heard of needing to let off steam but this takes the cake. Though it does do something important and that’s his search for Novo.
This Novo is what ties into Scott’s past and while he thought that part of his life was put to bed it certainly looks like all this time it just went underground. Now he’s got his job, his assignment and a whole new perspective, or lease, on life. It’s interesting how his past is catching up to him now and as Christopher reveals the whole scope of what this Novo has become.
I have to say what Christopher does with this whole Novo thing is amazing. I love the complexity and the subterfuge that he infuses with it into the story. It permeates Scott’s entire life in every capacity, vaguely in his marriage, and it has that potential to become both an obsession and something that will finally set him free. From what we learn this issue this organisation played a major role in his life an upbringing and you can why he became a cop because of it. You also see why he’s able to slip into this alter ego so easily as well. Such good, strong and well executed writing going here for sure.
I love the detail that’s put into the interiors. Right from page one you see how well the pages and panels are filled so that they provide the maximum impact upon the reader. Niko has this wonderful eye for storytelling using angles, perspective, page layouts and those backgrounds I mentioned are all used so effectively. With Dan’s colouring the whole book has this wonderful tone, mood and feel to it and exudes the emotions of what’s happening beautifully.
With each issue this series gets stronger and more intense. It still has the same questions about Scott’s mental health for me but then it also expands the world he lives in and generates this paranoia that is justified. Suddenly there’s a whole new concept and level to what’s going on here and it just gets better and better. If these guys can this up going this way i’m not sure just how much I can take but i’m willing to see it through.