Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Daryl S, Detective 1945, Lucy Shaw, Tommie Kelly
It’s post-war New York and a world recovering from the horrors of war still has criminals in it’s midst committing crimes that need strong-willed detectives to look at let alone solve.
Writer Lucy Shaw brings us a dark tale of vicious murders where the faces of the victims are removed……something that Detectives Joseph Roberts & James Jacobs are working hard to solve before the body count rises any further. Roberts has already seen his fair share of nightmares though and after surviving the war he’s returned to his duties with the Brooklyn PD where he’s been partnered with fresh-faced Jacobs. A gruesome discovery of the latest victim introduces us to the duo and gives us a clear look at the type of murderer that’s on the loose.
While that may prepare you for how this story evolves – it’s still got a few surprises up it’s sleeve before we get to the real detective work. We get a flashback to the war from Roberts as he struggles with his own inner demons along with trying to fight the real-life one’s set loose in the city. Cue the pair splitting up to double their efforts and a visit to the morgue with Roberts brings with it some more clues to motives and a lead on where to go to next. Meanwhile, Jacobs goes door-to-door in search of any further witness accounts of what they saw or heard. All fairly standard for a day in the life of a detective but the clock starts a ticking when Roberts puts 2 and 2 together to figure out who is responsible…..just as Jacobs is overpowered by the psycho who’s sharpening their knives in preparation for as many victims as possible.
There is LOADS of potential in this release which comes from a mix of the writing from Lucy and the art team of Daryl S (Art) & Tommie Kelly(Colours). Strong characters and a fairly gruesome set of murders are dealt with that air of wanting to look away but having to look…..this builds tension across this opening issue and hopefully indicates what is still to come. The actual case itself sees us learn more about Roberts as the main focus of the issue and that gives us an anchor for the story & that connection is particularly noticeable when we get to see his war flashbacks and see the torment he’s going through to get through each day. The curveball of who the actual murderer is comes like a jolt of “WTF?” and the instant appearance of the killer’s insanity gives us a clear villain for our cops to track down. Good balance, enough surprises and tight work between writing & art.
That being said I have 2 minor quibbles with issue #1. Firstly, the pacing across these first 24-pages sees us introduced to these new characters, shown some murder scenes, solving some clues and then we close knowing who the murderer is and that one of our main characters is in their clutches. It all seems to happen very quickly but I’m inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt as I’m sure that over the course of it’s 3-issue run it’ll level out and there will be more than enough story to carry it through. Second, and this is purely a personal quibble from me, is that I would’ve preferred the art/colours to have been a bit grittier and darker – given the subject matter and the post-war surroundings I guess in my head it should feel like a crackling, black & white movie. Those are minor quibbles as I say and I’m sure issues 2 & 3 will hit us with as strong a story as this opener promises in it’s potential.
Released at DICE Comic Con in a few weeks – along with the limited edition variant below:
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