Review by Gilbert Short
She’s back! Alice Hotwire, everyone’s favorite police officer/exorcist has returned to active duty to placate the dead, reducing the threat they pose to the people around the city. Published by Radical Publishing, a company that specializes in unique titles such as this one, the book promises to be a worthy follow up to the first series. Was it? Check it out!
This is clearly Steve Pugh’s baby. It was conceived by himself and Multiversity favorite Warren Ellis, but this is all Pugh. He wrote the script, he drew the panels, he did the cover, and he even lettered it. It’s truly a work of his own, and I don’t think anyone can dispute that.
Truth be told, I like this book, and the main character. She’s deeply flawed, and far from perfect, but she’s quite likable and to a certain extent one of the more relatable female leads in the indie market. Her supporting cast is one of the more interesting and fleshed out casts in comics, with a new addition that’s as creepy as he is see-through. The relationship they had before his death was especially tragic, from the details of their destructive relationship to the circumstances surrounding his demise. It gives a clear motivation to her character to do exactly what she does.
The story itself is a lot of set up. We see what happened to her after the previous series; including her recovery and just how she has a brand spanking new arm instead of just a stump. From there we jump right on in to another adventure, and one that was ill-conceived (on her part, not Pugh’s). She races to take care of some new Blues (slang term for ghosts) who have popped up following a grisly car wreck on the high way. But she’s not back on the force for 5 minutes before getting into a lot of trouble once again (once an anti-hero, always an anti-hero). It’s a wonderful set up that doesn’t drag in the slightest. As a matter of fact, this book moves at breakneck speed, making you feel like you’ve got whiplash by issue’s end. And I couldn’t be happier. The book seems to benefit from shortening the series by one issue, from four issues to three. My only real complaints from the previous issue was the pacing which could drag a bit; and the length of time it took for issue four to come out, so maybe without that issue to worry about, Hotwire: Deep Cut will finish promptly without any lengthy wait.
Pugh’s art was also quite fantastic. Everyone has a distinct look to them, and you can tell Steve is English because everyone LOOKS English. Alice could have been a generic white girl, but his renderings give her a distinct look and personality; one that’s unmistakably British. I’m totally not being racist either. This actually makes it surprisingly easy for a future casting post, one that will be coming up in the near future, you can be sure of that.
One of my favorite things about the series, however, was the lettering. Lettering is something I genuinely don’t notice unless it’s spectacularly bad (see David’s Twilight review). But in this case, it’s very noticeable, and even furthers cements the personalities of each character. It’s a brilliant move.
The questions you should be asking are: do you like unique characters and plots? Do you like brilliant and engaging art that is unlike anything else out there? If you do, then you should check out this book. You won’t be sorry.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy
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