OSSM/Image Comics 2016
Written by Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Illustrated by Rod Reis
Lettered by Troy Peteri
2085, pill-popping investigator Simon Moore has been sent to the survey ship Hadrian’s Wall to “rubber stamp” the accidental death of one of it’s crew, Edward Madigan. However, unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, this case has personal stakes for Simon: Edward married his ex-wife--and current Hadrian’s Wall crewmember--Annabelle, to complicate matters further, someone has flushed all of Simon’s pain medication down the drain….
This issue we start with the interviews of the crew. This is where the initial characterisation comes into play. First impressions and all that are important and more so when trying to determine who has something to hide. Some of these conversations go pretty much as planned I think a few are more annoyed that they have to go through this and while Edward wasn’t very well liked by the crew there’s only one of them that has to have had the motive to kill him.
We could through character by character but that would take too long. I’ve got my suspicions based on the interviews and the revelation we get this issue strong suggests something else. That being said it’s not going to be whom we think it’s most likely to be. I mean who knows maybe it could be and it’s all a smokescreen to get us looking in other directions. I mean someone has to know enough about Simon to have flushed his pills down the drain to ensure he’d leave in a timely manner. Or drive him to suspect that’s exactly what someone wants so he’s more determined to stay than ever.
The pills are only one interesting thing that’s happened. Only one person has been trying to get him to rubber stamp this and he knows about the pills. He also convinced Simon to go considering his relationship with the deceased. Still again obvious that it would be him plus he wasn’t on board so co-conspirator? Working with someone to eliminate a company employee who either knew too much or was a threat in some way shape or form. Then my suspicious mind comes into play and the only being nice to Simon is the Doc. Why is that? Is he really just a good guy or is there something else there?
A good story gets you involved a great story gets you involved and obsessed so you’re thinking about the myriad of reasons and possibilities of why this could have happened. You take mental notes of what people say that could be used in the how leaving a large gap in the why. What the boys do here is incredibly well done in driving us mad with bits and pieces and leaving out the all important motive. Yeah and they do this insanely good job of making this one hell of a good read.
I am enjoying what Rod’s doing with the interiors. The way he’s using page layouts with angles and perspective and the use of some backgrounds and colour really help to emphasise that this is an outer space mystery thriller. The attention to detail is nicely done and the look of each character has this odd effect on me as a reader. Some you like immediately others you don’t trust but that doesn’t always match up with the writing. He’s really knocking this out of the park here.
An extremely clever sci-fi mystery thriller this will drive you to the brink of distraction as you try to see what Simon does. With strong characterisation, premise and interior artwork this could very well be translated insanely well to the big screen.