Who doesn't love a good "who-dunnit" story? Well, how about two
good "who-dunnits," spanning five different eras of time? Both have just released their first issues, and are off to a bloody good start!
First up we have Fade Out
, set in 1948 Hollywood, created by Ed Brubaker
and Sean Philips
(known for their great Criminal
It starts with the mysterious death of an up-and-coming starlet and the cover-up the studio implements to try and protect them from any potential bad press resulting from her death--more accurately, her murder
, because while the papers follow the studio's lead and report the death as a suicide, the writer who found her body knows better!
He decides to wade-in to the mystery despite his own tenuous position
(this is the era of McCarthy's blacklist, after all!), but will he find
himself in over his head? If Brubaker
's past work is anything to go by, I'd say the answer is going to be a resounding yes
That's good news for us, because these two are masters of their craft, and with Fade Out
they're tackling the glamour of old-school Hollywood, the paranoia of the Communist-witch-hunts and their Blacklists, and the shadowy world of murder and corruption, all wrapped-up in one deadly package. This is slated to be their most complicated and involved stories ever, and those of you familiar with the works of Brubaker
know what a claim that is! Those of you who aren't--come and meet these two marvelous masters of crime-fiction today!
Then, in a story that may well turn out to be somehow even more
complicated, we have Bodies
This murderous mystery is written by Si Spencer
, with art from not one but four
great artists: Dean Ormston
, Phil Winslade
, Meghan Hatrick
, and Tula Lotay
. Each artist does six pages an issue, with one time period assigned to each one. Bodies
will take place in the East End of London in 1890, in 1940, in 2014, and in 2050 -- all with four different detectives trying to solve the same murder, with the exact same corpse
. Confused? Don't worry, all good murder mysteries confuse you at first! And each issue of Bodies
will be riddled with clues in four distinct different art styles as the crime(s?) weaves to one fascinating conclusion.
's section takes place in the waning-days of the Jack the Ripper
case, after the Ripper's last body has been found -- but before anyone has realized either that Bloody Jack is done killing, or that these crimes have the making of a legend. This part of the story focuses on a prim-and-proper copper sickened by the power-and-elite corruption of his police force, and his refusal to stop investigating a murder that no one else cares about.
's part of the story is set during the London Blitz
, and stars a career-criminal who fled the Nazis in Poland to join the police force in London, and who is using the bombings as a cover for his own illicit activities and bloody politics. He seems as hard-boiled a killer as Bloody Jack himself, but even he balks at the sudden appearance of a mutilated corpse in the middle of an air raid!
takes on the modern section of the mystery, focused on a detective in the London Mets who wants to keep her beloved city free of the racist rabble staining the streets. She's competent with both a police baton and a quip and seems like she doesn't have any feathers to ruffle, bantering easily both with her fellow coppers and in some lighthearted mental running-commentary for the readers in the midst of a riot
, and when she finds that battered corpse, she takes it in stride--for the moment anyway!
has what is, by far, the strangest part of this tale so far: the future London of a post-apocalyptic 2050
! Our detective of tomorrow has trouble remembering simple words, but she's nonetheless responsible for figuring out how this poor fellow died (just as soon as she figures out what that means). Finding out what kind of world she lives in is going to be as central to the core mystery as the strange symbols carved into the corpse, and I for one can't wait to learn more.
That's a feeling that all four of the time periods of Bodies
left me with, and so did Fade Out
: curiosity! I read a lot of comics, as you no doubt know, and I get excited about the good ones very easily, but I have to say that few first issues have captivated me quite so quickly as these two! I recommend grabbing a copy for yourself, and starting both of these mysteries at the beginning -- like me, I'm sure you won't be able to wait to find out what happens next!
Labels: Counter Monkey Nicky Review, mysteries