Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Tokyo Ghost' #1 by Rick Remender, Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth


★★★★★ (5/5)

When you have the type of A-list talent behind a title like 'Tokyo Ghost,' you expect a lot and hope such a concentration of genius was worth your time. Rick Remender, Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth not only deliver, but they've essentially created the equivalent of a summer blockbuster action movie. What 'Mad Max: Fury Road' did for movies, 'Tokyo Ghost' does for comic books. It's a wild non-stop techno-obsessed dystopian action thriller that is designed to make you think as it blows your mind.
 
On the Isle of Los Angeles, digital stimulation is the drug of choice and drug lords rule the land. When wild cards like the murderous Davey Trauma gets out of hand they call in Constables like Debbie Decay and her technologically-obsessed lunk of a boyfriend Led Dent to bring him to justice. Debbie provides the narration to keep readers informed as the story speeds ahead constantly hitting a higher gear. The race to bring in the narcissistic psychopath leads to an exciting hyperactive police procedural tripping on adrenaline.

Remender's commentary on the public's reliance on technology and constant stimulation from television and social media is not subtle but nothing about 'Tokyo Ghost'is meant to be. It's a world that's been desensitized from real emotion or feeling. Some go to extremes to actually feel something whether it's through sex or watching street racers crash and burn before their eyes.

There are pointed scenes like Debbie trading self-esteem pills with a bouncer for access to a club. These tech-zombies are epitomized by Debbie's partner, the hulking Led, who is mesmerized by TV and social media and always connected throughout the issue. It doesn't stop him from scraping the off of an informant while riding his futuristic motorcycle though. 

'Tokyo Ghost' is as much a cautionary tale as it is a high-octane thrill ride.

Debbie Decay is the heart of the story. She's a fearless and relentless badass that is determined to catch Trauma but her codependency to the seemingly unavailable Led draws comparisons to Harley Quinn. She hopes that "this one last job" will lead to a greener, digital-free life elsewhere with Led where he'll disconnect and be human again. It gives the story much more weight and Debbie more development.

Just when you think Sean Murphy has peaked he reaches new levels of creativity and artistic virtuosity. His work on his creator-owned 'Punk Rock Jesus' was outstanding. 'The Wake' proved there's nothing writer Scott Snyder could throw at him that he couldn't render even sea monsters. Finally, not even Mark Millar could trip Murphy up by exhaustingly illustrating various periods from history for 'Chrononauts.'This time around there's probably no other artist tailor-made to bring this dystopian techno-world to life like Sean Murphy. 

Each scene is intricately laid-out with more detail than we deserve with enough kinetic energy to power a small country. The influences are hard to dismiss but with a mixture of nods to 'Judge Dredd,' 'Road Warrior,' and 'Blade Runner' Murphy creates a fully realized dystopian world. Murphy's signature designs from characters to vehicles are sharp and exhaustive.The landscapes are all encompassing even with some easter eggs along the way.Murphy has gone hog-wild with this one producing his finest work to date.

No stranger to working with Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth knows how to highlight his pencils and breathe life into each scene with moody colors and warm textures where needed. While there is so much to look at on each page, Hollingsworth finds a way to keep the focus on the foreground and emphasize the action of the characters. After 'Chrononauts' and 'The Wake,' the team of Murphy and Hollingsworth have done it again.  

'Tokyo Ghost' has energy and visual invention that is so fully realized and dazzling that it thrashes with a punk-rock beat. The creators conjured up an exhilarating, deranged and exhausting tour de force that highlight each of their strengths. It also wraps a beating heart of tenderness in one of the most epic action extravaganzas in comics. Get this book now. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

NYCC: Dynamite's Next 25-Cent Revival is 'Dejah Thoris' with Amy Chu

The Princess of Mars is set to return to her throne this January, as Dynamite Entertainment announces the relaunch of one of their most beloved characters, Dejah Thoris. Writer Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja, KISS) will bring the strong, iconic character back to the comics in the debut issue Dejah Thoris #0, which will retail for 25 cents and allow fans to join the adventure at this introductory price.


This replicates the outstanding debut of Sheena #0, which broke 120,000 sales. Retailers can confidently stock their shelves with extra copies of this red-hot new series.

This exciting prequel to Edgar Rice Burroughs' beloved book, A Princess of Mars, will delve into the untold story of the classic Red Martian princess!  After learning of the legendary Gardens of Mars from her grandfather, Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, sets off on a dangerous scientific expedition to save her dying planet. But things don't go the way she planned when she encounters a mysterious Green Martian…

PREVIEW: 'Sovereigns' #5 by Ray Fawkes and Dylan Burnett

This is it!  All your questions will be answered, all the mysteries revealed!  What has obliterated humanity?  What the hell happened to the moon?  What is the true nature of the Hidden Jungle?  Why do the heroes you know and love—Turok, Magnus and Doctor Spektor—seem like completely different people?  And perhaps most importantly, how will the world be saved, and at what cost?



DOCTOR SPEKTOR PART 6: The story of the all-new master (and we use the term lightly) sorcerer continues... when Doc gets drunk & summons a demon – and good decision-making ensues!
Sovereigns #5
writers: Ray Fawkes (main),        Aubrey Sitterson (Doctor Spektor) artists: Johnny Desjardins (main),              Dylan Burnett (Doctor Spektor) covers: Stephen Segovia (A)               Johnny Desjardins (B)               Fred Hembeck (C)               Kenan Yarar (D)               Stephen Segovia (RI-B/W) FC  •  32 pages  •  $3.99  •  Teen +











REVIEW: 'Witchblade' #1 by Caitlin Kittredge, Roberta Ingranata, and Bryan Valenza

The next iteration of Witchblade has arrived and Top Cow has assembled another great creative team to bring the legendary wielder of the powerful artifact to life.


WITCHBLADE #1
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge Artist: Roberta Ingranata, Bryan Valenza Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: December 6, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Handed down from one worthy woman warrior to another for ions, the Witchblade gauntlet has chosen its next host in wartime journalist Alex Underwood. She suffers from PTSD and helps battered women find justice. The book opens with her bloodied and dying. The non-linear story jumps around from what led up to her situation, to helping an abused cop's wife, to having visions probably induced by the gauntlet. She rejects the growing power of the Witchblade it but that could kill her. 
The trouble with origin stories like this is the predictability of passing the torch to another chosen one. We know that Alex will eventually take to the Witchblade and use…

Fred Van Lente & CAFU Decode ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1

Valiant announces ARMSTRONG AND THE VAULT OF SPIRITS #1 – a hard-charging, standalone special coming this winter from New York Times best-selling writer Fred Van Lente (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Incredible Hercules) and red-hot rising star CAFU (RAPTURE)! On February 7th, join in a riotous celebration for the ages as Armstrong, for the very first time, uncorks the ancient mysteries of his centuries past – and dares his closest comrades into the adventure of several lifetimes!

Deep beneath New York City’s seediest dive bar, Armstrong – the hard-hitting, harder-partying immortal veteran of history’s greatest escapades – is hosting an invitation-only affair for his most beloved friends and allies! Archer… Ivar, Timewalker… Faith… Quantum and Woody… And special guests from across the Valiant Universe… All have been offered a seat at the table for a personally guided tour of Armstrong’s most valuable and tightly guarded treasure… From the Great Flood to ancient Greece to the height of the C…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …