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preacher Warren Ellis (MINISTRY OF SPACE, TRANSMETROPOLITAN) strikes again,
this time with a hardcover book collecting his DARK
there's hardly a damn thing I can tell you without giving away the major
plot twist that hits halfway through the story. Suffice
it to say Detective Christchurch works a hell of a precinct. Between brutal
murders in the streets and corruption in the precinct (hell, his captain
spends his day locked in his office shooting heroin), it's a wonder he's
still alive. And his partner, the straight-laced, by-the-book Detective
Thorogood doesn't help either. But now
a mysterious killer known only as Wayman is brutally slaughtering people,
leaving only the letters LD50 scrawled in blood on the walls as a clue.
The frustration of the chase pushes Christchurch over the edge, and he
soon finds himself resorting to brutality to get information out of informants
(in the opening pages, he is seen pummeling a man nearly to death in an
interrogation room). And that's
when things really start going downhill... He starts having strange visions
and dreams, and even moments of intangible reality as cars and people
pass straight through him. It is then that the world drops out from under
him, and he learns what LD50 really means. Who is he really? You'll have
to read the book to find out. Overall
a solid read. Very fast-paced, though it's an overall concept you've seen
before (just a different vehicle to deliver it) and the ending is a bit
abrupt. Jacen Burrows' (KING ZOMBIE, SKID ROZE) artwork is well-suited to the story. He works
in black & white with a lot of sharp contrast and detail to make the important
stuff really stand out. He does not shy away from detail, and despite
the overloads of gore at times (witness the room full of dissected and
beheaded bodies at the scene of a crime), he manages to keep enough control
over the reader that the work is not over the top. Great stuff.
BLUE three rabid fanboys.
Review copyright 2001
by E.C.McMullen Jr.