Created & Written by Erik Bitmanis
Created, Illustrated & Lettered by Ross Zucco
First I owe a huge apology to these guys I get so busy with everything sometimes I forget things like the fact I’ve been sitting on this issue for a year now. Yet how does the saying go “better late than never” I certainly that applies to reviews. Miranda has hijacked Sam Wyreznowski and taken him from the prying eyes of Teller and her people. To catch you up Miranda is an A.I. and Wyreznowski is this kind of trouble shooter if you will, he looks like a Private Dick, was one of the reasons the computer looks like it does and well he’s a bit of a washout and is thrown back into the thick of things and has to play catch up. Not as easy as it all looks, or sounds, however and Sam will find he’s in way over his head.
Once Teller learns that they’ve gone dark she calls in her son Theodore, or as he likes to call himself Big T to find them. The race is on as Miranda tries to outmanoeuvre them while getting Sam to his destination. The mystery continues to deepen as the story moves forward and I like that. Erik does a really nice job with the structure of the story, the ebb & flow he creates as well as not giving us any real information about what Sam is being hijacked for. We see him continuously ask Miranda what the hell is going on and she remains mum.
That she remains mum allows the reader to interject their own thoughts on the subject thus getting the reader more interactive with the story. This is always a good thing because while we want to be entertained we also like to have our brains stimulated as well. So by trying to guess, figure out or just beat the writer to the punch Erik ensures that the reader will keep coming back to see what’s going on and if they were even remotely close to the reality of the situation.
So being on the run doesn’t always allow for the best characterisation and this is no true exception but we do get to see some of what Sam is capable of online and it’s pretty interesting and at times comical. The real look we get at him is during the flashback sequences of him as more of a teenager than an adult. He comes across as a typical teenage science nerd with the same lack of social graces that we often put upon them. Still what we see well yeah that’s not how you impress a girl you want to ask out, though he learns. So this look back at him kind of shows us his potential and quite possibly a reason why Miranda looks as she does.
Ross’ work on the interiors here is really nice. I like the style of the world that we see and how his black & white work is able to showcase some very intense attention to detail. The way he manages to use page layouts and the angles & perspective that we see in panels shows his eye for storytelling is rather solid. He isn’t afraid to use backgrounds and really expand every moment that we see and that alone does wonders. Also the facial expressions and body language help further the characterisation past the writing. I really like and appreciate the work he’s doing here.
The further into this online world we get the more dangerous it appears and I guess that’s why men like Sam or Theodore are needed to combat those things seeking to invade it, think computer virus, and it up and running safely. So what is Sam needed for? We really don’t know but whatever it is someone has gone through a lot of trouble to get him here. They had to something so big that Teller would wipe the mothballs on his employment and send back in. That level of manipulation is something to be admired.
Alright here’s hoping the boys have another issue or two because this my friends is some really fun and interesting storytelling. Also it’s a prime example why I keep telling y’all to seek out books like these at conventions or through word of mouth (cough cough). So head here https://hardwyredcomic.com/ or here on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HardWyredComic/ to find out how to get yours today!