Mad Cave Studios Inc. 2018
Written by Mark London
Illustrated by Alejandro Giraldo
Lettered by Christian Ospina
The Story So Far…..
Despite his crippling social anxieties, Detective Aiden McCormick is the pride of the Detroit Police Department due to his superior investigational abilities. Haunted by relics of his past, McCormick is tasked with finding the Flayer, a mysterious person responsible for a series of grisly murders occurring throughout the city. Each murder is accented by a gruesome calling card: a distinct triangle cut into the cheek of the victim and the gouging of their eyes. It is only a matter of time before the Flayer attacks another innocent victim…
With each issue that I read I find myself liking this more and more. It started off strongly and has kept the pace building up with each issue and Mark is bringing this towards it climax in a way that I can appreciate. The opening this issue for instance picks up where the last issue left off and while Aiden thinks he’s Superman he’s far from and if it weren’t for the fact that his boss was keeping an eye on him well he would’ve found himself in even bigger trouble.
I like the way that this book is structured. There is a great ebb & flow to the book that helps in the release of information in a way that helps create an impact. Following the series of events that we see here it is both surprising and enlightening that Aiden actually calls his old unit, the Midnight Task Force, to aide him. This has been a high point for me thus far as we’re finally seeing the past and present colliding in ways that take Aiden out of his comfort zone and force him to not only accept but rely upon another point of view. This is kind of like questioning himself because he’s so blasted smart and the characterisation that we get from it all is spectacular.
There is also another revelation here and it’s a doozy however before we can focus on that, if I will at all, there are things happening with Ms. Black. I love a strong powerful woman with drive and focus and she definitely has that though why she has to be a cold hearted snake well that’s how he die was cast. Still with her network, see empire, is devious and she’s a player to be feared and she wants Aiden’s brain. Kind of zombie creepy but okay I’m willing to stick around and see what she plans on doing with it.
Alejandro also keeps impressing me issue after issue with his skill on the computer. The linework is gorgeous and it really brings a whole new level of intensity to the book. When we first started seeing this style I didn’t like it but this here, along with the Sejic’s, prove that while it isn’t the same as hand drawn it’s still something to be in awe of. The opportunity for subtlety and being able to show the shift in focus and then also be able to use some bold vibrant colours in the same way it’s simply beautiful. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a stellar eye for storytelling.
The way things progress here and with the addition of the Task Force isn’t going to stop the Detroit PD from almost crashing and burning to the ground. The excitement reaches new heights as we are thrust into this duplicitous world. With the players in place and things coming to a head will Aiden come out on top thanks to calling in reinforcements or will Ms. Black and her forces succeed where he couldn’t?
This is incredibly well written with great pacing and characterisation alongside some serious and gorgeous interiors this is why small press books deserve your attention.