Alterna Comics 2019
By Bernie Gonzalez
Lettered by Wes Locher
A cryptic cult. A frayed friendship. Arcane arson. And a horde of zombie boxers. Detective Zeke King continues his terrifying trek through a city of ghosts. But can this shaken sleuth survive his search for the supernatural?
This has become one of my go to series when it comes out. I mean there is something absolutely delightful about this that is just all kinds of fun. The characters that Bernie has created here are sensational and as fleshed out as can possibly while still allowing plenty of room for further growth and development. Zeke has his reasons for doing what he does and we kind of know the extent of why and then there's his buddy Gus, old friend and also missing the same woman but the two have totally different yet surprisingly the same reasons for continuing Zeke's ongoing investigation into the weird.
I love the way that this story is being told. The story & plot development alongside the character development that we are seeing here is so well done. The two work together in this kind of perfect harmony that when picked up by the pacing which moves it all forward creating one of the best ebb & flows around. I love how information is revealed and in some instances how it is presented as clues we as the reader have to decipher. This engages the reader and brings them into the story beautifully, I mean who doesn't want to try to crack a mystery? Most of us have grown up on Batman and think of ourselves as amateur detectives anyway heh. Still with what we see and how it's presented Bernie does an amazing job bringing the story to the reader and the reader into the story.
One of the many surprises this issue was that Gus made an appearance as part of the story instead of just a name that or visage that receives Zeke's tapes. I love that he was so concerned that he did what he did and it brings another dimension to the story that' hasn't been seen before. Also that we see these guys who are under some kind of mass hypnosis and are basically acting like zombies but add that to the fact that reality comes and goes and you aren't sure what's real, what's not and if the dreams are just that or something more? The swirling questions that race around like a Greyhound chasing a rabbit just fuel the desire to know more.
I really like the interior artwork here as well. I have massive respect for someone who can do it all like this and the fact that while it feels like the older Superman or Batman cartoons doesn't hurt matters any. The attention to detail is here and while things may be a bit blocky or boxy there is not one thing here that appear by mistake which allows us to see exactly what it is that Bernie wants us to see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a strong eye for storytelling. There is a remarkable amount of backgrounds being utilised here and how they manage to expand the moments and bring a size and scope to the book that's utterly marvellous. The colour work too is sensational and I love how we see the various hues and tones in the colours and those blues, greens and such not to mention the lights are all this completely wow moments.
The way this travels through the pages is practically perfect in every way and I have to say that this never seems to disappoint me because the ending is another of holy Mackrell moment. I am also still waiting to find out what's going on with father possessing his son as we haven't seen that in a hot minute. This is some superb storytelling folks point blank period.