Review by Paige McKee
Ryder on the Storm is a comic I’ll be searching for at the comic store. The plot is modern film noir with what promises to be a supernatural element. Private Investigator Ryder is called in by an icy femme fatale with a mysterious scar on her back. It seems her evening companion has used a power drill to commit suicide. The suicide is unique: the dead has drilled into his own skull eleven times. The reader has the omniscient third party view so we know that the woman was in the shower at the time of the murder with the convenience of Ryder’s business card next to the phone for her to use. We already know the mystery is deeper and more complex than even the characters know.
Minor visual details remind me of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. The phones are cordless but look like corded desk phones. Trench coats, fedoras and reel-to-reel movie cameras are all standard props as are neon lights and access to the Internet. The world is a vibrant hybrid of two eras. The streets are canals and yet Hine does not fall into the trap of telling us that this is a different world and time than ours; it’s evident from the moment Ryder hails a boat cab. The art is moody and dark. The colorist renders the work with a realistic and spends extra attention to the lighting in each panel. A broken light on the floor makes the characters lit from below. The colorist remembers this in every scene in the room with the broken light. I am excited to see what the next issue will bring from the team-up of Hine, Nichols and Chong.
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