OSSM/Image Comics 2016
Written by Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Illustrated by Rod Reis
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Designed by Rich Bloom
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 its crew, Edward Madigan. However, on closer investigation, Simon has come to believe that Edward was murdered, now, everyone’s a suspect...including Simon’s ex-wife, Annabelle. Whoever killed edward has also flushed Simon’s pain medication down the drain, causing him to start going through withdrawal….
The whole way this story has been setup has been incredibly well done. A death on a faraway ship using the man whose wife was taken by victim thinking he’d be happy to have him dead and write up an immediate accidental report is a no brainer. Only Simon is more interested in the truth than revenge against the man who took wife. As the story keeps unraveling we see more and more that this whole thing is has been orchestrated by one known and one unknown perpetrator.
Simon’s characterisation throughout this story has been wonderfully evolving. From the moment his medication was discovered put down a sink drain the clock started ticking. Now he’s in the throes of withdrawal and while that seems to be affecting his mind he’s still determined to push through it and figure out exactly what happened to Edward. I like how certain facts are being brought to life here as well. With someone planting evidence that Simon cannot be trusted to his job now that he’s asking too many questions to his own self-doubt in controlling what he’s going through.
Rod’s interiors here are pretty great at showcasing Simon’s withdrawal. I like the sweat that we see on his face and the tired look in his eyes they show how much this is affecting him. The use of page layouts with angles, perspective and the backgrounds do a great job controlling the flow of the story. The use of colour to show off the screens and light sources are well thought out and executed.
As the mystery of who and why Edward was killed still eludes Simon that he’s somewhat oblivious to the fact that persons on this ship are out to sabotage his efforts keep the excitement levels high. That we still have that mystery person and that the story keeps going places where we as a reader cannot pinpoint who that person is is exceptionally well done. With a plethora of suspects connecting the dots here is hard to do. So hats off to the boys as they continue to put Simon through his paces.
I can’t say i’m surprised by the level of writing here because while I am a fan of Kyle’s past work what does surprise me is how effectively he and Alec are able to keep us in the dark regarding the mystery conspirator.
This is a wonderfully crafted and executed space whodunnit that is sure to thrill mystery lovers and sci-fi lovers alike!