Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko
Illustrated by Gabriel Hardman
Coloured by Jordan Boyd
DICTATOR ARTHUR MCBRIDE’S MALORY REGIME RULED AVALON (ONCE MAIDSTONE) FOR YEARS. HIS FALL PLUNGED HIS WORLD INTO CHAOS. DISGRACED REPORTER CROGER BABB HAS FOUND A MYSTERIOUS JOURNAL WRITTEN BY ARTHUR’S COUSIN MAIA REVERON, DETAILING THE DARK HISTORY THEY SHARE. NOW, WITH THE HELP OF CRUSADING JOURNALIST FRAN WORONOV, HE INTENDS TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO IS STILL WILLING TO KILL TO CONTROL ARTHUR’S STORY.
This story has been surprisingly intense and full of intrigue and drama that I was expecting to see and that thrills me. Seeing the past and Maia’s story unfold around her as she tries to live a normal life after what happened on that beach, when she didn’t kill that woman, and Arthur mercilessly killed the soldier while keeping this deep dark secret is being done so well. Somehow Gabriel has managed to infuse this into her face and you see this conflicted person torn between surviving and family.
I am rather actually enjoying seeing Croger and Fran trying to find a way to piece together the clues to Maia’s journal and make sense of it and find a way to corroborate the story within it. That most of his early day’s inner circle left him by the time of the regime speaks volumes about how much Arthur changed by the time his regime started. He wasn’t the same man or possibly hardened and less idyllic.
The weird way fate seems to work should constantly amaze you. Maia’s new “home” working on a bee farm trying to clear her debt she’s working for Luis and Archi we start to see events that make at least Luis more than he appears. By the way Thanks for making Luis and Archi husbands in such a nonchalant manner just that it is no fuss no muss. Though an argument between the two men leads Maia to follow Luis.
Alright I do like that we see the men who tried to take the journal from Croger now showing up at his room wanting to joining forces. These guys stink of government arrogance and shouldn’t be trusted their methods that we’ve seen so far is anything but trustworthy. Still by working together each part being able to find information can’t and helping them all put the pieces together is an interesting idea.
With everything happening around the United States right now, and the world really, the civil unrest, the escalation of violence instead of peaceful demonstrations how this issue works it’s way through was pretty spectacular and completely relevant in so many ways. It actually leaves me kind of conflicted as to what to believe and who is in the right and wrong, about who wants a better world. It’s thoughtful and thought provoking.
This is one of those series that doesn’t have that flash and pomp to it but is very quietly very much one of the stronger titles Image is publishing. It has this gripping mystery story at it’s core and the characterization, plot advancement, with dramatic cliff hanger endings and plenty of surprises throughout along with expressive and powerful interior artwork all make this one not to be missed.