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

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

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 …

REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #2 by Rick Remender and Bengal

After a raucous debut, 'Death and Glory' takes a weird turn. Like a really weird turn. Imagine David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino had a baby and out came out issue two of this new series from Rick Remender and Bengal. The question is is that a good or bad thing?


DEATH OR GLORY #2  
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: June 6, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With a botched heist job, a bullet in her side, and all her money gone, Glory wrestles with what to do next. The cargo her ex-husband was trafficking wasn't drugs but people and after putting them all safely on a bus to Arizona, she's broke and being attended to by one of the Brazilians that stayed behind. Her scheme was pretty straight-forward - rob the money that the dirty sheriff was going to transport and use it for her dad's surgery. Easy peasy. Then it all went to hell as the sheriff recognized her, she dropped the money, and now no one is happy, not the sheri…

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

New Sci-Fi Horror Series INFINITE DARK From Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, and K. Michael Russell Coming in October

Image/Top Cow announce an all-new, sinister ongoing science-fiction series—INFINITE DARK—by Ryan Cady and Andrea Mutti with colorist K. Michael Russell that will hit stores this October.


In INFINITE DARK, the universe has ended, but humanity has survived. For years, the passengers and crew of the vessel Orpheus found the endless void between realities to be a surprisingly peaceful home.

Then they found a body—bloodied, brutalized, and surrounded by inscrutable runes. As Security Director Deva Karrell investigates the Orpheus' first murder, she'll come face to face with a horror from beyond the confines of time itself…

INFINITE DARK #1 will launch from Top Cow/Image Comics this October 2018.