Dark Horse Comics 2019
Written by Christian Ward
Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Coloured by Christian Ward & Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Mobsters, magic, and mayhem in the Prohibition era! Eliot Ness and his team of Untouchables work overtime taking on dangerous criminals that hide in the seedy underbelly of 1930's Chicago. Except in this world, Al Capone isn't dealing in alcohol, but in magic. With Lick, a drug that grants magical powers to anyone who ingests it, mobsters become wizards, ordinary men become monsters, and darker secrets than Ness can imagine lie at the heart of it all.
I rather enjoyed this book. The premise is solid, the cast of characters interesting and diverse plus the whole idea of alternate history infused with magic well they've just taken this to a whole new level. Now aside from the fact of when this story is being set, prohibition in Chicago, how this is being told is as impressive to me. The way the book is structured is fantastic and that the we see this whole deal with the Church and a Priest spewing fake news that would make Trump proud well it is kind of fun to see.
I do like the way that this story is being told and how the book is structured. The sting operation was okay it serves it's purpose I just it hadn't been interrupted and instead we'd started with the introduction of characters. That little bit did nothing to tell me who the guy who went into the bar was and while I now have this desire to see more of Detective Charlie Drake Wilson I still think there was a more effective way to have this be done. Let's face it when dude took that lick and starting shooting fire all over the place that was the best bits out of this, including Mr. White doing his disappearing act.
Of course it is the events that come after the raid where things get even more interesting. Christian does such an amazing job in getting the reader to become engaged in the story. Elliot pushes himself harder than anyone knows, realises and should so it's no surprise that while our drunk magic man is in the clink that happens. Seriously the creativity and imagination that we see here id feckin brilliant! The characterisation and the story development that occurs is something that grabs our attention, raises an eyebrow (see Spock) and get lost in their own minds for a moment.
The interiors here are gorgeous. The linework we see shows a strong steady hand the way that the varying weights are utilised so that they create this attention to detail is incredibly well done. I really like the way we see the composition inside the panels it gives Sami the opportunity to utilise backgrounds and with the page layouts this way there can be those ones that are blank right alongside them and still be incredibly effective. Plus we see some nice depth perception and then there are moments like seeing the river, which I still love doing when I am in Chicago, which make this as delightful as it. The eye Sami has for storytelling is extraordinary as we see the angles and perspective in the panels. The colour work as well is beautifully done. The way we see the hues and tones within the colours themselves to create the shading and shadows that we see is extraordinary. To see Elliot's hand on that last page with those colours holding that it was amazingly well rendered.
Overall putting this new spin on Elliot Ness and the Untouchables as they try to put Capone out of business and clean up Chicago is a lot fun. There is darkness abounding here and it is pretty out in the open so can Elliot and his men stay on the side of the righteous or will they succumb to their inner darker desires in the name of the cause? Interesting heroes and equally dynamic and fascinating villains in a world of magic and mobsters what more could you possibly ask for?