ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Indoctrination' #1 by Michael Moreci and Matt Battaglia
Moreci is unafraid to blend elements of politics, crime, ideology, and the supernatural. It's something that made Fields so riveting, the grounded gritty approach that revealed the true monsters are really the twisted souls within humans more so than the literal ones. The same tone and tension that drenched the pages of Fields is found here in Indoctrination.
It bills itself as True Detective meets Seven but you can add Homeland and Hannibal for good measure. Moreci puts the reader on the case along with FBI agents Trent Daniels and Georgia Torres from page one. A murder victim, one of a series, posed in a familiar position and all the markings of a known terrorist. In order to find the mastermind behind this death cult, they enlist the help of a disgraced ex-CIA operative, Denton Wilkins, if they can get him away from his government handler. That's just the tip of the iceberg, there's more going on, some of them bizarre and sinister. Welcome to your new addiction.
Besides providing some political expertise from his days in D.C. (as in Washington, D.C., not the comic book publisher) Battaglia shows some impressive artistic skills in his first full-length illustrated comic. Sketchy and raw, the line work is good but the layouts and pacing tell the story. The dynamic layouts paired with Moreci's pithy dialogue creates a darkly atmospheric landscape filled with a sense of dread. Things are going to get worse, deadlier, and extremely complicated. It's a page-turner that will suck you in completely.
Indoctrination #1 does what great first issues do, they lay out the groundwork, reveal just enough to get you hooked and then leave you wanting more. Moreci and Battaglia burrow underneath your skin to make you uncomfortable, hitting you with morally gray concepts and horrors too real to deal with. It's a fascinating and immersive journey worth going down the rabbit hole for if you dare.
Indoctrination #1 from Z2 Comics arrives in comic stores on Wednesday, June 29. Final order cutoff for issue #2 is Wednesday, April 28th.