09/17/15 | by Marcus Orchard
| Posted in
Comic reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sean Murphy
The latest comic by Rick Remender is something that you wouldn’t expect from the writer known for his works with dark and heavy themes. When you throw in superstar artist Sean Murphy, it’s hard not to be on board no matter what the series is about. “Tokyo Ghost” is one of the most unique comics of the year, with an odd combination of humor, violence, grit, and beauty.
Tokyo Ghost #1 focuses on Debbie Decay and Led Dent, two constables tasked with stopping Tokyo from becoming full of junkies addicted to digital drugs, who already litter the rest of the world. Among the population is a hacker that can take over and control the bodies of everyone around the constables, using these bodies to commit act of mass murder. The first issue follows the constables as they attempt to track and stop the murderer.
Remender’s story is both fresh and familiar, with clear influence from Judge Dredd and the online video game community that we are familiar with today. The dialogue will appeal to some and completely turn away others, with a great amount of terms such as “pwned” “YOLO” being thrown around by the antagonist in almost every panel. This slang still fits the theme perfectly, and helps to further develop the setting that Remender has created, but can understandably remove some of the immersion for some readers. Otherwise, this is a solid issue, with a dynamic characters, an interesting setting, and some of the best action seen from Remender.
While Remender’s script is solid, it’s Murphy that steals the show. Remender’s futuristic world is fully realized thanks to Murphy’s stellar pencils that are both gritty yet precise. All characters have a great amount of diversity, included those found in background, making every panel delightful to look at. Colors by Matt Hollingsworth make this gritty world somehow beautiful at the same time.
There is plenty to like about this debut, but it isn’t quite perfect either. The last few pages are mostly used to further build the antagonists, but they do harm the pacing of the story. While I understand why Remender felt the need to have the characters require a romantic moment, it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been, almost coming off as too gratuitous. Still this is a very small part of this issue and it’s likely that Debbie and Led’s relationship will be further fleshed out later in a more natural way. The action is also over-the-top in the best way possible, but some will find themselves wondering if violence was thrown into the issue for the sake of violence.
Whether you are fan of Remender or Murphy, you will find a lot to like in Tokyo Ghost #1. The dialogue may turn away some, but the stellar characters, setting, and action will draw in most. This isn’t the strongest debut, but that doesn’t stop the creative team from putting together one of the most interesting and wild stories of the year.
Story - 7
Characters - 9
Art - 9
Tokyo Ghost is a fun, violent trip through a future with too much technology.