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Hotwire: Deep Cut #3 Receives 9/10 Rating

Review by Holly von Winckel

Radical Publishing

Writer: Steve Pugh
Penciler: Steve Pugh
Inker: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Steve Pugh
Letterer: Steve Pugh
Cover Artist: Steve Pugh
Other Creators: Steve Pugh, Warren Ellis

Grade: 9

First things first: the cover of Hotwire: Deep Cut 3 rocks. The image of Hotwire’s red-suited hand reaching right out to me, with the wicked electrode contact patches on the tip of each finger, is just too cool. Seems like every issue of Hotwire that I’ve seen has a few super stand-out images, and this cover is definitely on the list. Talk about going out with a bang!

Did I say going out? I did. This is issue 3 of 3, which means Detective Exorcist Hotwire has to wrap up the loose ends on this rogue / souped-up blue light case. A blue light in a bionic body, his mind has the compulsion to do Good, and a remarkable ability to eff it all up. Hired gun Bertus Rantz and his goon squad definitely have the head start, but they’ve got nothing on Alice Hotwire and her partner Mobey. Well, that’s not quite true. Rantz and the mercs have the experimental gear being developed for Hotwire’s work, but it hasn’t been tested, and they don’t know much about how to use it. What could possibly go wrong?

Steve Pugh’s art for Hotwire: Deep Cut is intense. The details on all the gear, the fantastic attention to facial expressions and body language and the mad variety of blue light forms all come together in a hurricane of color and speed.

While not a particularly contemplative comic, Hotwire: Deep Cut 3 is so rich in details that having read the story relieves the need to know what happens next, freeing the reader to stare at the pictures for a long time. The art is both a critical element of the story, and a satisfying aesthetic reward on its own.

HotwireThis is a super comic. It’s fast, loud, and full speed ahead. Any moral or ethical quandaries that crop up are not allowed to stand in the line of fire. Philosophical issues have found their ombudsman in the eerily person-like Doug Bear toy, which, at the end of the day and in the company of a rather large bottle of vodka, is all Alice Hotwire has for company. I could almost feel sorry for her, but she does such a great job of being an ass about things.

If you’ve been following the riotous adventures of the Detective Exorcist in the big city, you don’t need me to tell you not to miss Deep Cut 3. If you haven’t yet been to the near-future world where the dead don’t simply go away, this could be a wild ride for you. It’s a bit visceral, a bit gruesome, and entirely explosive. Give it a whirl.

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