Review by Justine Jude Carmona
EDITOR’s NOTE: Ryder on the Storm #1 will be in stores October 6th.
In This Issue: The private investigator known only as Ryder, takes on what appears to be a pretty cut and dry case in order to clear his client’s name from a possible murder wrap. But when he learns that the case may be connected to the Dantons, the oldest and most powerful family in the city, things takes an unexpected turn into some very dark corners of his world.
The Good: Right off the bat, writer David Hine and artist Wayne Nichols, immediately go for the throat and pull you into this dark and fantastic Gothic neo-noir world where not everything is as it appears. The sun never really shines bright on this grim metropolis, which is perfect for a place that’s inhabited by…well, I’m not gonna spoil it for ya.
At first glance Ryder appears to be your typical hard boiled gumshoe, but Hine is able to write him in a way that avoids all the stereotypes we’ve grown accustomed to with such a character. His is not moody or gruff, his life isn’t in the gutter and he doesn’t appear to have a drinking problem of any sort. He is a little impulsive with the ladies, but for the most part Ryder is smart, even-tempered, plays nice with the local law enforcement, and can be very resourceful when he has to. Hine and Nichols do follow some of the typical noir conventions, such as the way characters dress and speak, the city’s architecture and, of course, they give us a beautiful and possibly deadly femme fatale.
Nichols wonderfully painted art adds such great tone and texture which really elevates the story Hine is crafting. He gives us a beautifully rendered concrete jungle of a city scattered with towering buildings and accents of neon color that add another dimension to it. His characters don’t suffer from lack of expression or emotion. To top it all off, Nichols serves up a wonderfully horrifying double page spread at the beginning of the book that will haunt you for days.
The Bad: As much as I really thought the cover is a great stand alone piece within itself, it kind of tells a little too much and gives away the big cliffhanger at the end.
Final Thought: If you’re a fan of crime noir, horror, or both then Ryder on the Storm is the book for you. Hine and Nichols will thrust you into a beautifully painted world with a story that pulls you right in from the first page and never lets go.
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