New Image cop drama set in a dystopian space station? I’m in. The Fuse debuts this week, sporting a rising star of a writer and an equally talented artist. Is it good?
The Fuse #1 (Image Comics)
This cover is bleeding. Bleeding epicity.
The Fuse pulls you in, right in. It gets in your face. It’s loud, it’s fast-paced, it’s dark. If there is a way to put this comic down while reading it, I don’t know it.
Dietrich is a human cop from Earth who volunteered for the nastiest, least pleasant job there is as a cop. He’s working as a detective on The Fuse, a giant space satellite rife with disease and awful people. He barely has time to set foot on the new land when a dead body plops down at his feet and his new partner comes to investigate. His first case begins.
This is a comic you have never seen the likes of before, and will never see again. It’s, as the writer states in the letter column, a mix of all different genres and influences all blended into this incredible, avant-garde drama. There’s the cop aspect to it, probably the most prevalent influence. The team has also created a fantastical yet somewhat realistic world that gives you the same feeling of augmented reality as Transmetropolitan. All of the comic’s action feels like a spy story, but much darker; it’s like a dystopian Bourne flick but with a more whimsical spirit. There’s plenty of grit and a hardened sense but this book also has a nice sense of humor. Together, these different aspects create a tale that suits the writer’s style perfectly.
Aside from being a thrilling action tale and great world-builder, The Fuse #1 delivers an awesome mystery. I haven’t felt this engaged in a detective case for a while, and this is coming from a guy who read all of the Batman books out there for eight months. From the ominous intro to the foreboding ending, this is not a case to be taken lightly and certainly not normal cop fodder. We’re dealing with a serious disease that is being injected into people; that adds a level of difficulty in taking it down because not only do the detectives have to track down a killer, they also have to stop a disease from spreading. Not only is it an intriguing case and mystery, it’s very unique to the setting it takes place in, making the newly created world feel in-depth and lived in. This is a truly engaging mystery that makes the series’ future incredibly hopeful.
I’ve been raving about how much writer Antony Johnston has done to create a new and fascinating fictional world, but The Fuse really wouldn’t be the same without Justin Greenwood’s gorgeous artwork. The lights lining the streets cast an eerie and sickening green light that emphasizes how dirty this place is while giving a futuristic look. The blood is unrealistically bright, giving great contrast to the ground on which it is spilled right, aside the beautifully shaded shadows. I also loved how much this book’s art made me uncomfortable. It had a very cool feeling to it that both made The Fuse look like a generally cold place and that much grimier feeling.
Is It Good?
Yes, if you are not already reading a copy of The Fuse #1, get one. From the sophisticated cover to the question-raising conclusion, this is a debut you don’t want to miss.