Writers: Declan Shalvey & Rory McConville
Artist: Joe Palmer
Colourist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
We had a brief sojourn away from the main plot last issue (an issue which would rip out the heart of anyone who had one) but we’re back with the main plotline this issue. You might recall that at the end of issue 5 Nadia had killed Helgi, Tatsuo had stolen a better time pod so he and Nadia could go and find her family and the Union were declaring war on the Syndicate following the death of Rosalyn. Plus Tatsuo had a mysterious package Helgi had sent him to get.
So we open with a massacre of the Syndicate by the Union. It’s swift, brutal and though we don’t get anything further on this on this issue it’s strongly hinted that a way between the two is now pretty fully blown. The actual massacre is wonderfully stylised in the art. Slightly twisted silhouettes of human forms are brutally contrasted against a bright background as red drops tear through them. We don’t see the faces but we certainly feel the effects of them being machine gunned down. One panel of a smoking gun barrel really highlights the bust of terrible gunfire.
Meanwhile away from that brutality Tatsuo and Nadia open the mysterious package Helgi sent Tatsuo to collect only to find something rather unexpected: a robot. Named Kevin. No technology is meant to survive jumps in time and space (and I did like the way Tatsuo referenced time and space to Nadia and how the pods travel through both felt nicely old school sci-fi), yet Kevin has survived and he’s fed up of being analysed so he’s not too upset at his change of time period. Kevin’s design is really great. A large head with spindly limbs as he was folded up inside a smallish box he looks both old school robot but also clearly future tech.
The main draw of course is what happened to Nadia’s family. Her search for her mother and sister has informed much of her journey so far but of course things are not going to be that simple, spoilers aside. We also get to spend a decent amount of time in in 2042 which, as it’s a time period not far removed from our own, has a stronger sense of familiarity than some of the time periods we’ve seen previously. The buildings, the clothes, the art reflects a world not too far removed form our own.
I like the focus on Nadia in a lot of the panels since this is her quest. It never felt like Tatsuo was short-changed either as he provided excellent support But as it is Nadia’s family that’s the focus it’s good to have a lot of panels focusing on her and her reactions. She’s a really great character and I am looking forward to seeing how her search for her family goes. I hope for a good outcome but this series has had so many heart wrenching twists and turns who knows.
As we enter the second big arc for this series I think the strong establishment of the characters and the really distinctive art means that now we can really dig deep into character related plot. There’s a lot of interesting threads starting out in this second arc and I am looking forward to where they lead.
Plus you know. Robot. Named Kevin. I didn’t need another reason to read a book this good but damn if I haven’t been given another.