Rating: 4/5 – Sci-Fi police procedural in space!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
I really enjoyed the first issue of this series and just didn’t get around to writing a review until it was almost time for #2 to come out, so here I am, finally, talking about the second issue of this an awesome police procedural set on a 5-mile long orbiting space station 22,000 miles above the Earth.
Writer Anthony Johnston (Wasteland, Umbral) has created something different here. Well, not completely differently, it’s a mash-up of different genres I like already viewed through the lens of Johnston’s imagination to make something new. Mostly it’s different from the super-hero comics that dominate the racks at most comics stores, but thanks to Image and several other companies, the super-heroes are dominating a bit less than they were even 5 years ago. There’s nothing wrong with those super-heroes, I just like to add stuff like the Fuse to my reading diet. It’s the wide variety of comics that keeps them fresh for me even after 44 years of reading them each and every week of each and every month. Art on the series is by Justin Greenwood (Wasteland & Resurrection, both from Oni), he’s a good match for Johnston’s story and his angular style fits the sci-fi environment pretty well.
The Fuse is set on a orbiting energy platform, home to half a million people, and as such stuff happens up there. Normal everyday life type of things, the illegal things around the edges of everyday life, and murder. This is a police procedural where Detective Ralph Dietrich, newly transferred to The Fuse from Munich, Germany is paired up with veteran officer Ristovych (who quickly nicknames Dietrich ‘Marlene’, I LOVE it!) to solve the murder of 2 cablers; a name for the homeless people who live in the ducts between the decks of the station. So we’re watching these 2 working their way through a chain of clues which puts them slowly closer to solving the crime, at the same time we’re learning slang, acronyms, the political climate, and the general ‘lay of the land’ for The Fuse, where this whole thing is set. The dialogue is crisp and reads like real conversation to me. Fascinating world building going on here.
Two issues in, I’m still really enjoying this series, it’s different from all 140 of the other comics I’m reading each month and that is a REALLY good thing. It stands out. I means I remember the story from month to month even though I go to work every day, read lots of other stuff for relaxation, watch TV and movies, etc. I think I like things that stand out for just this reason, I can read lots of different books and keep them all straight in my head because they’re not all blending together like they all had more in common. This is a solid sci-fi story of the ‘hard science’ sub-genre. If you like sci-fi, cops, or mysteries, give this one a try!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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