The Fuse is one of Image Comics big new launches for 2014. Described by writer Antony Johnson as a “cop show” mixed with “dirty, lived in sci-fi” into a comic, The Fuse follows young detective Ralph Dietrich to Midway City where he meets his new partner, veteran detective Klem Ristovych and it isn’t long before they get their first case together. Johnson loves detective stories and he and artist Justin Greenwood have invested heavily in this book. How does the first issue stand up to a first read?
Image Comics describes the first book of the new series as follows:
“THE RUSSIA SHIFT,” Part One
Working homicide 22,000 miles up on an orbiting energy platform, in a five-mile-long jury-rigged steel city stuffed with a half million people, with no help from your so-called colleagues back on Earth, is more than tough…it’s murder!
Cynical, foul-mouthed veteran ANTONY JOHNSTON (UMBRAL, Wasteland, Daredevil) gets partnered with fresh-faced idealist JUSTIN GREENWOOD (Wasteland, Resurrection) for a new crime series with attitude! Murder, mayhem, and mystery—22,000 miles straight up.
The opening and closing panels of this #1 center on a mysterious murder in space; in between, we get some exposition on our main characters and our setting. I enjoy the premise. I enjoy this issue. I would have enjoyed a little more having been accomplished before the end of the book.
After the final panel of the first issue, writer Antony Johnson tells us that this series was, in part, inspired by his childhood favorites Judge Dredd and Sherlock Holmes: a magnificent mixture to be sure. Johnson is going to be telling us a sci-fi story and he’s also going to be telling us a detective story complete with the “buddy” cops. This first issue hits all the key notes of both genres: the sci-fi lingo and setting mixed seamlessly with the Riggs and Murtaugh new partners vibe and all the “rookie” cop moments that the rookie cop never fully understands. Johnson will make this work and work well.
Justin Greenwood‘s character art is rigid and detailed. While he’s just getting into Midtown City and The Fuse, I’m interested to see how he fleshes those out in future issues. While I’m not a huge fan of this style, I can appreciate that Greenwood does it well.
The first of a 5-part introductory arc, The Fuse #1 sets up a promising series backed by two very motivated and talented creators.