Numbercruncher #1 (Titan)


Rating: 4/5 – Karma, reincarnation, and a Bastard

I thought I had a good handle on British slang, but I learned some new ones thanks to Numbercruncher #1, Si Spurrier, and the magic of internet searches.  Bolshy, for one (someone who often argues or makes things difficult).  I knew I was in for an interesting ride when the main character is named Bastard Zane (aka Operative #494) and he works for the Karmic Accountancy in the In-Between.  It’s all about numbers and how your actions in life add up.

I love Spurrier’s dialogue and the color (or rather the lack of color) when we’re in the In-Between which is portrayed in black & white, is a really nice touch.  These may be the exact things that put some readers off the book, difficult to understand dialogue for Americans not familiar with the slang/dialect and popping back-and-forth from color to B&W.  For me it is these elements of style that give the book such a wonderful character that it was a joy to read.   It certainly stood out as unique from the other 110 or so comics I read every month, and THAT is the important thing to me.

It’s Bastard’s narration that give the story it’s character and it’s the situation Spurrier creates, with a man making a bargain for reincarnation  to pursue his lady love across time, that adds the flavor.  The combination is a tasty story that hit me just the right way.

What I’m looking for in any comic is a good story, which includes how the art+writing mesh, and a unique look and feel.  I don’t like reading a lot of books that all feel like they’re the same homogenized mass of stories that all blur together in my mind.  When a writer can tell a story that stands out from the crowd of comics on the stands that’s what I’m looking for and that is what Si Spurrier and PJ Holden (with Jordie Bellaire on colors) did with Numbercruncher #1.  You have my attention, I’ll be back fro the rest of this 4 issue series!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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