Writer: Eric Bitmanis Art: Ross Zucco Publisher: Self-published
WHAT IS IT?
An action-packed, hyper-masculine cyberpunk story where an unsuspecting protagonist gets in way over his head.
It has a little bit of a Shadowrun feel, but brighter and less stylized.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Sammy Wyzernowski is a “sweeper” called out of retirement. He basically performs skilled jobs in a giant computer program. His partner, Miranda, stole some kind of container device with a mysterious program on it. Their boss seems like she wants it for herself, or wants to keep its secrets under wraps. She sends other sweepers after them. Meanwhile, Sam lost his love interest to the simulation years ago. After assuming she was dead or gone, certain strange happenings may be telling him otherwise.
Are all of these events linked? What's up with the mysterious program? Will Sammy ever be able to retire?
For fans of old school action films heavy with machismo, explosions and "traditional" gender roles, Hard Wyred is right up their alley
Sam's real self may just be a normal, out-of-shape guy, but the virtual reality persona we see is your typical action hero type
It may be modeled after the old school action genre, but it passes the Bechdel test!
Zucco's line work is skilled and detailed, able to fit a lot of activity into a single page, like in the image below
The perfect escape from comics that are too deep, morose, or thoughtful
You can get the first issue free here
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
As our protagonist, Sammy isn't necessarily likable
Most often, he sounds like a petulant teenager
If this is a series that the creators plan to keep going for awhile, maybe it's their intent that he slowly grows and changes into a better, more mature person
There's a lot of aspects of the hyper-masculine action genre that can feel old-fashioned, uncomfortable, or and a little toxic, like:
Characters are either giant, muscle-bound men or very feminine women who look like they were drawn in the '60s or '70s
A lack of nuance in how characters speak and what motivates them
Sam tries extorting a date out of a woman when he finds adult content on her computer
While I'm not usually bothered by a lack of color, especially in indie comics, I think it may be able to help parse the action in busy panels
While the "F-Bomb" is censored, other curse words are not, in case you're worried about your kids reading that sort of thing
The lettering and art can feel at war with each other, which is strange, since Zucco handled both
An editor could have helped greatly
Sometimes, it's difficult to figure out what's going on, between characters looking similar and flashbacks
Often, asking someone else to read it first and then say how they interpreted it can help avoid this issue
Missing punctuation and overused dashes and hyphens can take the grammatically-inclined out of the comic
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Hard Wyred is a pedal-to-the-metal, cyberpunk action comic that definitely fills the requirements for the über-masculine action genre. Just feel like having some fun and not thinking too hard about what you're reading? Hard Wyred is your book.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Issue #5 should be coming out soon!
Click one of these for issues #1-4:
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Erik Bitmanis & Ross Zucco characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Erik Bitmanis & Ross Zucco or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED