Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Frank J. Barberie
Illustrated by Crizam Christhian Zamora
Coloured by Dinei Ribeiro
Lettered by Larger World Studios
In the sprawling, steampunk metropolis known as The Big City, it is the sworn duty of one group to keep the peace and uphold the law: the officers of The Precinct! Mortimer Hill is a veteran officer who has busted his fair share of criminals, but when a high-ranking official ends up dead and mechanical monsters and a mysterious murder start causing trouble, he’ll need to use all his wits to get to the heart of the mystery…
This is one hell of a story so far. Steampunk and magic work as well together in this world as oil and water do in ours. There’s a deep seated jealousy and rivalry happening, mostly behind the scenes, where science and religion, in this case the Acolytes and their magic, fight like Republicans and Democrats. Science rules though and they try to stifle the Acolytes and their ways as best they can but sometimes when all you want is equality well something, or someone comes along and makes everyone see that one can’t be whole without the other.
So how does killing off people get them closer to that realization? Well for starters you’ve got a cop and acolyte working together. What a pair these two make as well. I love the dialogue here as each one has that “i’m in the right” tone to their words and doing very little to truly understand the other. However I have a feeling this association is more important than even I am currently realizing.
Frank’s the kind of writer than can easily take two people from completely different worlds and make them work together against all odds and make one of the most interesting reads around. What we’ve been presented so far really does wonders in drawing the reader into this world and helps us understand it so that we’ve become invested in seeing the outcome. In this case long before you realize that’s happened. While Jo and Mort are the oddest of couples I think it was the Senate meeting that really cemented that feeling for me.
As any fan of comic books will likely admit we are ourselves amateur detectives. Well we like to think so after all these years of reading detective stories, thanks Bats. So when we read an issue like this and see the layers to the story and kind of figure out along with the characters what’s happen we connect with it more. Then of course there are the curveballs we didn’t see coming and go how the heck did I miss that? Which in return keeps us following a writer with whatever he, or she, may write. How Frank weaves the story through dialogue, action sequences and character interaction here is why I think so highly of the story and him.
While it’s easy to piece some pieces of this puzzle together that I am somewhat lost as to why now and if certain folks are connected remains a highlight for me to keep coming back. That this story is crafted in a way easy to follow and easier to like/enjoy doesn’t hurt either.
I’m also a big fan of Crizam and Dinei’s interior artwork as well. The fluidity of the artwork and the sense of motion and danger they bring to the page is thrilling. Not to mention the ability to bring both human magic and steampunk ingenuity together in the most creative and divisively vivid ways.
Dynamite has made a Steampunk fan out of me and with this their latest effort has cemented their creativity to be at the forefront of the genre.