Reviewer: Craig Reade
Quick Rating: A solid teaser
Chad Bowman witnesses the brutal murder of a waitress in an alley... but he refuses to come forward!
Written by: Jake Black
Art by: Justin Wayne
Color by: Sal Nieto and Andy Turmon
Letters by: Gary Beatty
Publisher: Viper Comics
You may have heard about this comic at Comic-Con this year - it attracted some attention thanks to the faux-movie trailer that Viper pieced together to help promote the story. You can take a look at it below.
As you can see from the trailer, the comic is about a man who loses all of his senses one by one - presumably as punishment for not using them. The protagonist in this series is an interesting character - he has a lack of likability that gives this story an interesting flavor. Chad witnesses the brutal and bizarre murder of a waitress, but when the police arrive to question him about the killer he denies witnessing the crime to avoid missing a critical moneymaking meeting. He continues to elude police pressure to come clean about what he knows, but he starts to receive some very creepy messages that seem to relate to his refusal to talk about what he saw.
The way things spun out of control at the end is absolutely the hook of the issue. Where are the mysterious messages coming from? Why a ventriloquist dummy, and who sent it? Is he hallucinating at the end there? Adding to the story's appeal is the fact that Chad just isn't that likable a guy in the first place, so as a reader you do take a perverse pleasure in the horrible things you know are about to happen to him.
Visually, the book has a decent look. It has a very clean feeling, and the way the book is presented really invokes the same feeling that you got in the American Psycho where the gore is hiding under the surface and out of sight, waiting to intrude. There were a few color issues - I don't know if it was inexperience or what, but I do think I could have done a better job with those dirt smudges after his accident... the color is consistent and I think the presentation was great, but there were one or two moments where it looked like someone else who wasn't so hot at Photoshop went in there to fix something. Those moments are rare though, and it doesn't really detract from an otherwise strong artistic presentation.
I think this is a strong start. This issue was a Comic-Con exclusive, but they will be releasing it digitally sometime soon. As soon as I get word of a release date for that and the upcoming first issue, I will be sure to post it.