Ever since I wrote the news article announcing the five issue miniseries for which this is the first issue I’ve been quite curious to see how it would turn out. The answer is - great! This issue comes out tomorrow (1 Aug) and you should definitely hand over your $3.50 to read this issue. And the best thing is that it’s only a five issue mini-series so you can surely afford to add it to your pull list for less than half a year.
As appears to be the trend in 2012 we begin our story in media res. If you hadn’t read my news article above you wouldn’t know why this guy was buying all the ice at a convenience store. It becomes pretty clear very quickly what the ice will be used for just a few pages in. We then jump to ten months ago and the real story kicks in.
Interestingly, AJ Lieberman does not present Dr. Benjamin Dane as a sympathetic protagonist. We see him getting high with hookers while he’s on call. And in a later scene he shows up high to his Medical Board hearing about whether to take away his medical license due to his drug use. Yet somehow, AJ Lieberman will have to get us rooting for him when he ultimately rebels against his employers.
In the end we know that, no matter how much Dr Dane is offered to work for the villain, Dane will be in the position of a victim. Not only does he have a drug habit and no means of employment, but what he’s doing is highly illegal and if he wanted to get out, I’m sure the boss has a way of letting the authorities know that he’s done these things without anyone else finding out. And there’s also another scene in here that demonstrates the perils of trying to leave.
The issue also has plenty of dark humor - especially the last page. Someone on the net described it as having the same vibe as the darkest episodes of Nip/Tuck. I think that’s an apt comparison - this is no Chew, but it’s not hyper-serious either.
Of course, none of this would work without great art. Colin Lorimer does a great job on the art. The scenes in the underworld feel gritty and dark. The scenes with kids feel bright and innocent. And he’s done great work on where he places the panels and how he manipulates the gutters to make them part of the image such as in the spread below.
I’m really excited about this series and I’m glad it’s only five issues long - so it shouldn’t drag on as each issue needs to move the story forward. Buy it!