Writer: André Lima Araújo
Artists: André Lima Araújo, Arsia Rozegar (colorist)
Publisher: Titan Comics
Titan has – justifiably – been promoting this SF thriller as something that’ll appeal to Ghost In The Shell and Akira fans. But if you truly want to get an idea of the style and tone of the first issue you need to think of live action remakes of both those films directed by Luc Besson, because there’s a definite flavour of The Fifth Element in here too. It’s quite brutal SF in some respects but it’s also bright and cheery and colourful in others.
The first issue is effective curtain raiser, quickly establishing the main characters (a bunch of bantering investigators in something called the Special Operations Force), the world (a futuristic city in Portugal) and the mystery (rogue cyborgs chasing an android) in broad, bold strokes. The subtlety comes in the detail; Araújo’s visuals are full of storytelling detail that builds the world and the characters without explicitly drawing attention to themselves. Read placards. Look around the background in panels.
It may be set in the future but it actually feels oddly old fashioned. The story is not –yet – particularly deep though you suspect there are surprises and twists to come. For the moment it feels comfortably like all those films so far mentioned, plus Blade Runner and even Judge Dredd. We’ve seen the future and it’s… nostalgic. But why not? The future urban thriller is an underused genre these days.
The art is very appealing, not the gloomy sci fi noir you’d expect at all but clean, crisp, flowing and evocative of Moebius as times. The colours are bold too; even when certain scenes stick to a limited palette the panels remain vibrant.
A confident, intriguing start with three more issue to come.