Comic - The Fuse #1

On the hunt for something to read, Susan Omand lands at The Fuse #1 from Image Comics...

Story By: Antony Johnston
Art By: Justin Greenwood
Cover By: Justin Greenwood
Published: February 12, 2014

You know how it is, you’re flicking through the freebies on Google Play looking for a quick read and.... no? Just me then. Ok. I was flicking through the freebies on Google Play the other day looking for something quick to read as a wind-down before bed and my eye was caught by the cover of The Fuse #1: The Russia Shift. Red, black and white is always a go to colour combination for me and it was this striking cover and that alone that made me pick up the digital version of the comic for a read. So, comics makers, don’t let anyone ever tell you that the cover doesn’t make a difference!

I realise now that I’m very much a late-comer to The Fuse, as the comics series itself is now nearly two years old, but this was the first I remember hearing or seeing of it so it was purely a “lucky dip” choice and, having been hooked in by the cover image, the sales blurb sounded even better

Working homicide 22,000 miles up on an orbiting energy platform, in a five-mile-long jury-rigged steel city stuffed with a half million people, with no help from your so-called colleagues back on Earth, is more than's murder!

Yes, this is police procedural in space and the comic opens with a Cabler, akin to a homeless man, dying in mysterious circumstances at the spaceport of Midway City, the orbiting energy platform nicknamed The Fuse. In the meantime Detective Dietrich (later humorously nicknamed Marlene) is on a shuttle headed for same shuttleport to take up his duties on the force there as partner to the cynical detective Klem (short, incidentally, from Klementina) Ristovych. They meet over another victim as yet another cabler collapses, only this one has been shot and has a phone card and locker keys with her. So begins the first of Dietrich’s Russia Shifts for Midway City PD, the long night shift with only the two of them on duty.

The characterisation of Klem and Dietrich and the scene building in the writing by Antony Johnston is top notch, you can hear the dialogue in your head and there is just enough given away descriptively to carry the story well, without being bogged down or losing the thread. Partner that with the dirty neon colouring of the crowded artwork from Justin Greenwood and you get that atmospheric, almost claustrophobic feel of a noisy, busy spaceport. Think of a trader outpost from any sci-fi film or TV series and you have the idea.

I’ve only read the first issue so far but I will seek out the next one as the story has me hooked already. It’s fast paced, simple to follow, with great characters and doesn’t need large-scale “epic” settings, so I can see this working as a TV series rather than a film but I would love to see it on a screen somewhere.  In any case, I must find out what happens.

Image - Image Comics
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