Review by David LeBlanc
I read the promotional preview of this story, which is about 16 pages. After reading the full first issue it seems there is a lot more to it than I first thought.
The first several pages set the scene in a slightly different world than ours. Ryder is a detective in this major city with some technology that is a throwback to the previous century. Ryder is a private detective but it seems that term here also has the connotation of a personal advocate or lawyer. His latest client is a dancer who claims her rich boyfriend, Michael Hudson, killed himself by drilling several holes in his head while she was out of the room. Ryder finds evidence that he was on a psychotic drug that not only produces hallucinations but also dulls pain sensors making it entirely possible. As she is off with the police he returns to his office only to get a delivery of Hudson’s journals. After reading them his client, Katrina Petruska, shows up and we learn some fascinating aspects of the case. According to Hudson, this world was once run by an ancient race of Daemons. They fell from power and for decades have been trying to regain control. Furthermore the oldest and most respected family dynasties in the city, the Dantons, are descendants of the Daemons. Hudson’s parents who were journalists were investigating the Dantons met untimely deaths. The book goes a lot further in the remaining pages. Ryder visits Katrina’s work, which is a whole other trip into voyeurism, masochism and even a group orgy as entertainment. What happens as he follows her from work is the big surprise. By the end we learn the reality of the daemons and meet a new ally that saves Ryder in a very unorthodox way. But something even more astounding is saved for the last panel.
While the first half stimulates your curiosity, the second half moves right along with lots of exposition and action. The art is very strong in support of a script that moves through a variety of scenes and characters. It is a gripping story executed well.
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