By Greg Burgas
Hotwire: Deep Cut #1
Pugh picks up the story six months after the first story ended, with Alice Hotwire, everyone’s favorite detective exorcist, still on leave because she’s a bit traumatized by the events of the mini-series. In her absence, a doofus named Rantz has been handling the ghosts (okay, blue-lights) his own excessive way – by shooting them with guns that disrupt electrical signals. Unfortunately, his goons use it on a freeway, which disrupts all the remote-controlled cars, causing a big pile-up. Alice decides it’s time to come back.
She’s been dealing with bad things on her end, though. At the end of the last series, Pugh implied that her dead mother would be haunting her, but he changes it up and haunts her with someone else. We get a flashback to her pre-police, post-adolescent days, when she doped herself to lower her IQ, and we see an incident that probably won’t lead to anything good. And Rantz figures out that she’s been drinking, so he arrests her. Man, it’s a bad day for Alice, ain’t it?
Pugh’s art remains as stunning as ever. Like most of the Radical comics, he’s painting this, but unlike many of them, he uses bright colors to highlight the weirdness of the world he’s created and, of course, he’s really good, so his painting is a step up from most. His people look like people, and the painting allows his mechanical constructs to look like actual metal, while his ghosts are a creepy mix of skeletons and electrical energy. These comics look great, and they really help immerse in this strange place (I mean, it’s London, but it’s still strange) where Alice lives.
Time Bomb #1
I’ve been kind of looking forward to this since Palmiotti told me about it a year ago, and I’m glad it’s out, because it’s a neat, weird story (involving time travel, which means it should hurt my head, and maybe it still will, but we’ve just started the time travel in this issue, so it’s fine for now!). In 2012, a Berlin construction team finds an underground Nazi citadel, and when the gub’mint sends a group in there to find out what’s what, they accidentally shoot off a missile loaded with a super-virus that, when it explodes, instantly starts killing everyone. There’s no cure!!!!!! So the “New World Order” (which is an actual group in this book and not a Republicans’ worst nightmare… well, worst nightmare except for those sex dreams about Barbra Streisand – she’s so liberal but so hawt!) assembles a team of four (including a man and a woman whose divorce has just been finalized) to… go back in time! Yes, they’ve managed to create a time machine that can send the group back a few days, when they can stop the people from going into the Nazi citadel and firing off the missile. Easy-peasy! Except… the group gets sent back to World War II. Um, yeah, that can’t be good. And they’re right near a concentration camp. And they decide to start shooting the joint up. Haven’t they read Ray Bradbury, damn it!?
As this issue is a good chunk of the story, features art you can see and that is actually drawn, and has a good hook, it’s the second Radical book I’d look for if you’ve already picked up Hotwire. Palmiotti and Gray are pretty good at doing the genre thing, and who doesn’t love killing Nazis? Other Nazis, that’s who! (And they probably secretly enjoy it.)
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