Writer: Christian Carnouche Art: Crizam Zamora Publisher: Carnouche Productions
WHAT IS IT?
An action-packed, semi-dystopian future, sci-fi thriller that begins with a murder mystery and becomes something more.
It feels very Blade Runner/Altered Carbon, but with more sunshine.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
It's the not-so-distant future, but the world feels different. A mere five years earlier, a techno-plague wiped out part of the population, leaving scars many are still trying to heal from. Corporations are powerful, especially Drexler Nanotech Corporation, who invented a serum that resurrects the dead. Though the serum was outlawed because of its moral implications, it doesn't stop others from using it to bring people back to life.
And it's here in this strange new world that we encounter the mystery to be solved: when one of these resurrected individuals is brutally murdered. The Aboriginal-Australian detective on the case, Cain Duluth, is our protagonist. He teams up with his Japanese-American partner to solve this murder mystery, but they quickly learn that there's more to this mystery than meets the eye as they go deeper down a rabbit hole that connects to Drexler Nanotech, painful parts of Cain's past and Australia's indigenous people.
Issues #2 & 3 address white imperialism and institutionalized racism head-on while also developing more of the story on the serum and Australia's indigenous people and hitting some absolutely necessary detective-movie-style plot points.
Issue #4: In this issue, we get some really fantastic action sequences and just SO MANY classic action movie milestones, it'd almost be comical if it weren't for an obvious deep love of the genre. I may go into all of these milestones across every issue once I cover the final issue/the entire trade.
Issue #5, The Final Update:
It's time to confront the Drexler Corporation in this action-packed finale! All will be revealed in this final issue of the series. How can our heroes stop an entire corporation? How do indigenous people and the resurrection serum fit into all of this? You're going to have to read to find out!
It's a sprawling, futuristic action comic that would make for a spectacular summer blockbuster film
In fact, it feels like it was created to be optioned for film, even down to the publisher being called Carnouche Productions
Major points for representation, with an Aboriginal protagonist and a plot that centers around Australia's indigenous people, and a Japanese-American woman as his partner
Indie comics don't often have color, especially full color this well done
The greater, overall plot is well-planned, and feels familiar enough that we know we can settle in as the narrative takes us for a good ride
If you like neo-futurism with noir roots and all-too-powerful corporations, this is the comic for you
The end of each issue will definitely leave you wanting more!
Some really impressive action sequences
Also learned a bit about aboriginal culture and history through this title
Was fun seeing the comic's creators make cameos in the final issue
See which ones you can spot!
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
The dialogue and some plot points can feel a little stilted; at one point, beautiful women fawn over the main character (who is tall and beefy) and it all feels very male-fantasy-action-movie
Tied to this trope, we also get some of the problematic "Women in Refrigerators" (or women close to the main character who are hurt just to motivate the male main character)
Certain plot points can seem too easy, with not enough build-up to earn them
Throughout, I think we lose significance of the title's resurrected individuals and the resurrection serum -- it'd be really effective to see more of them throughout, but might make for a less straightforward story
If this ever gets made into a film or TV series, we'd have more room for something like this to be a fuller part of the environment
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's finely crafted action story by a talented team of creators. It fits right in with classic detective action stories while giving the genre a fresh, new spin that addresses problematic issues in Australian culture in a way that feels accessible to us Americans.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Under the Sun by Austine Osas, Abiodun Awodele & Yusuf T. Shittuh
The Fuse, Vol. 1 by Antony Johnston & Justin Greenwood
Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender & Sean Murphy
If you like the art:
Vampirella, Vol. 1 by Collins, Berkenkotter, Zamora, Dodson, Frison, & Buscema
The Precinct: A Steampunk Adventure by Frank Barbiere & Crizam Zamora
Original Sin by Jason Aaron & Mike Deodato
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Christian Carnouche – Writer
Founder of the publisher, Carnouche Productions
Outlander: He writes Australia so well because he's Australian!
Multitalented: He currently works with the United Nations
Cristhian "Crizam" Zamora – Illustrator
Outlander: Has lived in Uruguay, Moscow and Portugal
Dream Team: Has done multiple projects with colorist Salvatore Aiala
Salvatore Aiala – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in São Paulo, Brazil
Multitalented: Also works as a freelance painter of toys
Has also done work on big titles like Battlestar Galactica, Red Sonja & James Bond
Cardinal Rae – Letterer
Also works on breakout Image Comics hit, Crowded
Dream Team: Also worked with editor, Erica Schultz on multiple titles
Erica Schultz – Editor
Multitalented: Also writes and letters comics
Dream Team: Has worked with some big names in the comic industry, including G. Willow Wilson, Alan Moore & Garth Ennis
Participated in DC's writing workshop taught by Scott Snyder
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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