Black Mask Studios 2016
Created & Written by Tony Patrick
Created & Illustrated by Ayhan Hayrula
Coloured by Doug Garbark
Lettered by Jim Campbell
When one of Colin’s Erasure Therapy sessions was derailed by an attack on Mezign Corp.’s subliminal hitman lab, Colin searched for a way out of client Evelyn Lemonson’s mind--only to find himself trapped in unchartered depths of human consciousness. Colin managed to eliminate his target (Evelyn’s brother), but, in the process, he unleashed psychological disasters and predators that now threaten to claim his life. Back in the lab, Evelyn’s body has flatlined. The founders of the Erasure Therapy procedure realize Colin might be lost forever.
I’m so incredibly intrigued by what has been happening in this story so far. I think what Tony and Ayhan have done is introduce us to a form of science fiction that is inherently one we all hope isn’t too far off in the future. Granted there are plenty of memories and things in our minds that for some prohibit us from functioning on a day to day basis and this could help victim of abuse immensely. While on the other side of the coin militarizing it would be something more likely to happen first so the struggle between wanting to help clients and these mysterious figures bent on taking over the technology make this all too real.
There’s also something extremely likable about Colin, even if he’s rooting around someone else’s brain. I cannot wait to delve further into his own mind and see what makes him tick and what made him a suitable hitman for this Erasure Therapy. It has to take a special kind of man whose own brain is aptly suited for this work to do this after all. Though what he’s encountering in Evelyn’s mind is probably the one thing he could never have accounted for in all his training.
The unpredictability of what is going on through both Evelyn’s mind and at the lab itself is part of what makes this such a great read. I do like some of the revelations we see and when it’s Evelyn herself that informs Colin of what’s happened to her and the unlikelihood that he should be experiencing any of this raises a lot questions it’s still this mind trip and roller coaster ride at what could be the mind’s own defenses that really steal each scene they are in.
So Nesbit’s ex-wife who just happens to be a very strong willed and opinionated woman with few scruples and morals is behind the attack on the lab. Well isn’t it usually the case of an ex wanting revenge and happy to work for someone else to ensure that it happens? Though these two it’s hard to see that they ever had anything close to love in the first place so bravo on the characterization of them front. Still the endgame here remains slightly elusive and that would be enough to keep me coming back even without what Colin is going through.
I am very much enjoying the interiors here as well. I think the representation of some of the manifestations of the mind by Ayhan is extremely well done. It’s smart to use that almost computer generated look for the mind to comprehend what it’s seeing in that which is defending the mind against Colin. The characters have a great representation here and his own unique style of linework and perspective make this a very interesting compliment to the story. I think that he can do various variations on his style to represent different parts of memories or reality just enhance the reading experience.
Black Mask doesn’t disappoint when it comes to unique, exciting and extremely well told stories such as this one!