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

REVIEW: 'Redneck' #2 by Donny Cates, Lisandro Estherren, and Dee Cunniffe

'Redneck' arrived a month ago redefining the vampire genre by not giving into convention or cliché. In fact, if you've read the first two issues, the vampire angle serves more as subtext than its selling point. It's the perfect approach to this character-driven southern fried drama that simmers with tension and intrigue.

REDNECK #2 STORY: DONNY CATES
ART/COVER: LISANDRO ESTHERREN & DEE CUNNIFFE LETTERER: JOE SABINO
RELEASE DATE: MAY 24
32 PAGES | Full Color | Mature | $3.99
★★★★☆ (4/5)
The Bowman's way of life just got upended and what was once a peaceful and secluded existence is on the verge of war. The vampires of Texas keep to themselves, raise their cattle, drink its blood and sell the meat through their BBQ joint. Seems like a brilliant front to keep them in the shadows while staking out a living. All that is threatened when one of their own is killed after a night on the town. This issues fills in the holes to what might have happened and what the hell is…

PREVIEW: 'Tet' #4 by Paul Allor and Paul Tucker

We've seen Eugene's story. But during his last day's in Vietnam, he finally learns how Ha survived the war. She's always been much stronger than him; and much stronger than he's given her credit for. With all their secrets gone, Ha and Eugene must decide how to move forward.

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 …

PREVIEW: 'Project Superpowers' #1 by Rob Williams and Sergio Davila

The Project Superpowers heroes came from the past, now they have to prove their relevance in the modern world. A 21st Century threat is coming for us all. What dread secrets does The Death Defying Devil hold? The Lighthouse will rise and the Spirit of The American Flag will take on a new host. But will it be enough? Can superheroes still save the day?


Project Superpowers #1
writer: Rob Williams artist: Sergio Davila covers: Francesco Mattina (A), Ed Benes (B), John Royle (C)               Philip Tan (D), JG Jones (E) Stephen Segovia (F)               Sergio Davila (G), Philip Tan (RI-B/W)               J.G. Jones (RI-Sepia), Ed Benes (RI-Virgin)               Francesco Mattina (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+  












PREVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' #3 by Kelly Thompson and Jenn St-Onge

No more secrets…a dead body’s discovered, and Nancy can’t keep the mystery from her friends any longer. Will telling the truth and getting her crime-solving crew involved help crack the Bayport case, before someone else winds up dead? The modern take on the classic mystery icon continues from KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits)!


Nancy Drew #3
writer: Kelly Thompson  |  artist: Jenn St-Onge covers: Tula Lotay (A), Paulina Ganucheau (B), Jenn St-Onge (C),               Tula Lotay (RI-Virgin)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+