Review by Ray Tate
In the future, ghosts haunt the city, but are these truly the spirits of the dead? Detective Exorcist Alice Hotwire is the supreme skeptic. She deals with the phenomena scientifically. The ghosts are merely electromagnetic phenomena that have somehow acquired the personality of the dead. They are no better or worse than the artificial intelligence of a super-smart toaster.
In the conclusion to Deep Cut, a soldier personality who desperately wanted to be a hero rescued a pregnant woman from a vehicular accident caused by Bear Claw personnel. You can read Bear Claw as the artist formerly known as Blackwater. Unfortunately, Tony, our hero-soldier, is dead, and the blue light that manifests as him is intensified by special government-issue body armor. This means that Tony’s a little bit more there than most blue-light entities, and he has the unfortunate habit of attracting less coherent blue-lights, which makes Alice Hotwire’s job far more difficult. Add the incompetent Bear Claw leader Rantz to the mix, and Hotwire has one big headache to deal with.
It would be very easy for me to simply gush about the artwork and ignore the story. Steve Pugh’s illustration inside the book actually matches the striking cover enveloping the book. When have you seen that happen?In addition, the complexity of the story matches the complexity of the artwork. The rainbow palette compliments the colorful characters, and just when you think that you’re going to come away with a merely overall good book, Pugh has Alice pick up Rantz and use him as a human shield against an array of high-powered weaponry. After you’re done laughing at the scene, read the diametrically opposing narration for added amusement.
Hotwire? Hot damn. Alice Hotwire is the most memorable creation of the twenty-first century. Her stories are intense, heroic and innovative with a good dose of humor.