Boom! Studios #3
Created & Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Illustrated by Jonas Scharf
Coloured by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Jim Campbell
At 6:35 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, President Oren Roth ordered the firebombing of Crosstown, Kentucky. Crosstown was home to approximately 1,150 people. It had no Kentucky Guard presence whatsoever. It is noteworthy only as the home and birthplace of Luther Tindle, founder and Prophet of the Mountain Faith Church.Most of the victims who didn’t die immediately burned to death in their homes. Some tried to run. Drone footage shows men, women, and children burning and drowning in bubbling asphalt as the streets melted under their feet. I cannot stress enough that every single victim of this atrocity was a non-combatant. Even the centuries-old excuse of “casualties of war” cannot justify their deaths. They were murdered without cause... on the whim of the President of the United States.
Folks I’m going to call this right here and right now this is one to watch for 2017! What Phillip has brought to us here is something so involved, striking and different that is surrounded with this scary familiarity of what could actually come to pass that i’ve riveted to the page. I just can’t get enough of this and when it’s over I want more it’s just that darn good!
President Roth comes across as someone who shouldn’t have the job he does, mentally he’s proving he’s unable to handle the stress and pressures that surround it. His outward demeanor doesn’t match his private one by any stretch of the imagination and that in itself makes him a fascinating character. Also that he’s not one who can separate personal feelings from the job makes him this unsettling man who wields too much power, which sounds familiar somehow.
This issue we get a really good look at the Augs and what role they play. These are men broken by war who are given a new lease on life with mechanical parts. They seem to be the worst of the worse, those who relish in violence and love to inflict pain making them perfect agents. They blindly follow orders and relish in it and do so without showing mercy, remorse or any desire to question the right or wrong of those orders. Seeing them in play here really brings in this aspect I hadn’t expected to see, a more science fiction aspect, and it really opens up more avenues for the story to go in.
The interiors here are incredibly strong. The use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and use of backgrounds really help tell a more complete picture. There’s a great blend of light and darkness in this story that helps you feel exactly what you need to at that moment and I have to say there are some powerful moments that took me by surprise.
We are seeing more and more threads of the story grow and evolve here. The structure and pacing of this story impresses me. I like that what is believed might not be what’s real and that while Mercer is a catalyst there may be another less likely saviour of Kentucky. As people reveal their roles and true colours the more interesting the future of this series looks.
Unconventional and daring this series will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing at what’s going to happen next!