When I discovered there was a new Michael Moreci book coming out, I just had to get my hands on it. His work on Roche Limit and Roche Limit: Clandestiny have been excellent.
Moreci continues to explore the science fiction genre in Transference but, instead of journeying into outer space, he delivers a tale involving time travel. Is it good?
Transference #1 (Black Mask Comics)
Transference #1 is about a company who uses time travel to solve national security problems and, for the right price, sometimes they will even hook you up with your crush. However, events have taken a strange turn and things that shouldn’t be happening are. A terrorist is on the loose!
Moreci does a great job of teasing an overarching story in this episode. He introduces us to the protagonists and gives us an idea of what they do, although we never see them in action per se. Moreci explains the company’s activities through an interview process with a prospective client and dialogue between the protagonists themselves.
The protagonists are a trio of agents. The first is Colton. At this point, he seems to be the main star of the comic. Moreci introduces him to us on the first page where he has apparently spaced out or at the very least lost track of the conversation. This occurs a number of times throughout the issue. It is an excellent story tool to build mystery and intrigue while also hinting at the dangers and repercussions of manipulating the time stream.
Colton’s partner is Jordan. She is a by-the-book girl who has some killer hand-to-hand combat skills. She seems to be a straight arrow who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially when she doesn’t feel she has gotten all the information she requires or when she wants to let her partners know they are stepping out of line.
The third agent, Somme, has just joined the team. Somme’s greenness is on display during the breakup of a client interview gone wrong. He is quick to action and doesn’t always follow protocol. He also is a little bit of a hothead, but he wants to learn and asks his superiors questions for their take on specific situations.
Ron Salas’ artwork reminds me of a lot of Paul Azaceta’s work on Outcast. The characters aren’t very detailed, but he is able to convey their emotions effectively. However, there was one panel where a security guard was missing a mouth. He has a circle beard, but no mouth.
Many of the panels have a plain background, focusing on the character in the foreground. The panels that do have backgrounds usually use rectangles to depict a building or window. It is very minimalist and quite enjoyable.
Salas had a couple of stand-out panel depictions. One that really stood out was a three panel scene where Colton’s team is breaking down a door. It depicts a countdown showing a fist, a soldier next to the door, and a third soldier with a ram battering it down. It created a sense of motion, but also built up the tension with the countdown as you wonder what they are going to find behind the door.
Salas’ artwork style relies heavily on the coloring to convey emotion. Tamra Bonvillain uses a diverse pallet of blues and greens to yellows and oranges. However, there were a couple of panels where she used a subdued blue rising from Colton that could have used a more purple color with red to show his rising frustration. I did enjoy how she lit up Colton’s face when he was examining a document depicting him and a woman together. It was as if the document was literally shedding light.
Is It Good?
Transference #1 sets up a great mystery that in typical Moreci fashion has you asking more questions than getting answers. The premise of the story is really interesting with a terrorist potentially gaining the upper hand on a time traveling agency.
I’m excited to see how Moreci is going to handle the time travel. He lays out some of the initial thoughts in the summary of the book, but he doesn’t get into any details in this issue whatsoever. Although, a certain chair that looks all too like an Animus from Assassin’s Creed lends to one’s suspicions. Transference was enjoyable and I hope to continue to travel through time with Michael Moreci and Ron Salas.