Rating: 4/5 – Multi-Layered Sci-Fi Noir Set After the Aliens Went Home.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Paknadel & Trakhanov’s Turncoat is a sci-fi crime noir mystery set on Earth years after alien overlords known as the Management have left the planet. The long name (instead of simply calling it ‘Turncoat’) is required to disambiguate this series from the Turncoat webcomic about a superhero hitman that will soon be in print thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Other than the name, nobody would ever confuse these two series, they could not be more different, though both are great reads.
P&T’s Turncoat starts with a prologue that gives the reader a taste of why the series has its name. Our hero Marta Gonzalez was a police office working for Management and betrays them as part of a final resistance campaign that drives them off the planet. Apparently Management had been running things for so long that there are a number of humans that had grown quite accustomed to life under their control and were not happy about their departure. Paknadel’s story is multi-layered, there is a lot going on and not everything is right there on the surface, which is ostensibly a missing person case. Trakhanov’s art is a nice match for the story. A lot of background detail and a scratchy feel to it that reminded me of Carlos Ezquerra’s art on Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. There is a lot of nuance to the relationship humans had with Management that is buried in the background of scenes; buildings, people, writing/signage, items people are using. It’s unclear how long Management was running things, but it must have been a good long time to have become so ingrained in the fabric of human society.
Paknadel & Trakhanov’s Turncoat#1 is a great comic for anyone who likes gritty sci-fi mashed up with crime/mystery. Paknadel & Trakhanov have created an incredibly rich world here, it seems like there is far more than can be fully explored in a single story arc. I look forward to learning more about the characters, the world, and the departed aliens as the rest of this 4 issue series plays out. Hopefully this will interest enough fans that we’ll be getting some follow on stories set in this world down the road.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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