REVIEW: 'Control' #1 by Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov
Andy Diggle is no stranger to crime drama and here, along with Angela Cruickshank, with the mini-series 'Control' he's at it again with another dark tale.It's a gloomy police procedural with tons of atmosphere and a determined lead in Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham. She's in the middle of a homicide investigation that's already cost her dearly and has exposed an ever-growing conspiracy.
At the center is Burham, who has to lead an investigation into finding a cop killer with the help of a new partner and a squad that's lost confidence in her. When a routine call ends in tragedy, she's more determined than ever to find the killer. Diggle sets up the plot really well with an involving mystery but character development is lacking so far with Burham. We get a little dialogue and personality from her and her old partner in the beginning by the end we only know she's a capable detective but not much else. It' heavy on the Law & Order but light on personality. There's still time obviously, this is the first issue that's plot-driven to introduce the players and the plot with room to reveal who these characters are in subsequent issues.
Andrea Mutti provides a shadowy and gritty landscape that's reminiscent of movies like 'Seven' and 'Black Rain.' Sketchy and detailed, the art evokes an ominous feeling throughout the story matching perfectly with Diggle's fast-paced dialogue and pacing. There's an atmosphere of doom with every page-turn and Mutti sets the stage with just the type of film noir-type art direction it needs. Vladimir Popov injects the panels with dark earth tones, navy blues, and mostly black to drive home the darkness of the story.
'Control' is a solid crime mystery with a heart of darkness that is engaging and fast-paced. Diggle and Cruickshank sacrifice character development to lay out the plot but there's still plenty of time to turn that around. Mutti and Popov create the perfect atmosphere for such a dark tale. 'Control' is a limited series worth getting lost in.