We’ve all seen detectives work on a murder case where all they have to go by is a dead body; but what if that dead body traveled through time? What do I mean exactly? That’s what Bodies #1 is all about: is it good?
Bodies #1 (Vertigo Comics)
This is an accordion-type story with 4 different timelines giving us bits of information. The book opens in 2014 with a Muslim detective taking on a riot. Her character is smooth and smart, but when a body mysteriously pops up that isn’t one of hers or one of the rioters, things start to get fishy. The story then transitions to 1890 (during Jack the Ripper’s time), followed by 2050 and finally 1940. In each timeline the same body appears. What the?
What a heartwarming, or in this case, heartchilling album.
The strength of this first issue is the strong lead characters. Writer Si Spencer makes each and every one a joy to read. I’m sure people will be talking about the Muslim lead in the 2014 timeline, especially since she’s not pandering to any cliches or stereotypes. She’s actually the warmest and more relatable characters in the comic, but that’s probably a given considering she’s from our timeline.
The 1890 detective is very much what you’d expect from that era, who is upstanding, but understands not all crimes are worth hauling folks in for. He’s great parts morbid, realistic and determined.
The 2050 character is the most off the wall, with very odd dialogue, internal monologuing and a very alien nature. Why the future is so odd remains to be seen.
Finally the 1940 portion is probably the most exciting, because there are major reveals here. Something is up with this body and by issues end you’ll be dying to find out what.
Good cop/detective banter.
Each portion is drawn by a different artist; Meghan Hetrick, Tula Lotay, Dean Ormston and Phil Winslade share duties. Hetrick draws the first story in 2014 and it has a cartoony yet detailed look. Probably the mix of cell shading and hatching. It’s not moody by any means and seems to be the most stable of styles. Ormston is on 1890 duty and you can tell he’s going for a a much more moody look and feel. It reminds me of Cliff Chang or even Mike Mignola. Lotay works on 2050 and it’s very bright and takes more chances than any other on this list. Capping off the book is Winslade with the 1940 section and it’s by far the grittiest of the bunch; think Fatale by Sean Phillips. Overall it’s a good collection of artists who lend their unique style to each portion nicely.
Is It Good?
This is an enjoyable detective yarn because it captures the essence of each timeline very well. It’s like reading 4 different detective stories, but they’re all uncovering the same mystery. Very cool and very unique.