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Geekcentricity Raves About Hotwire

Review by Jonathan at Geekcentricity

Holy Hotwire, Batman! I found a new short run comic series I love. Generally, I’m more of a superhero/mutant kind of comic guy, but as soon as I saw the preview pages on Comixology of Radical Comics’ Hotwire, I knew I had to give it a chance. The first issue being free was a plus, too.

I’ll admit, I’m a total comic art snob. I’ve read some very promising books that I couldn’t finish simply because the art sucked so bad. This is an area Hotwire did not fail to deliver. While our heroine can occasionally come down with “ugly scrunchy face,” as I like to call it, overall, the very digital looking artwork is amazing throughout the issues. On that note, it is a very CGI-ish looking book, so if you have an issue with digital art, it may be a turn off, but it looks great. Really. Go download the first issue and tell me otherwise. I triple dog dare you… that’s right, I jumped right to the mother of all dares.

The storyline also doesn’t fail to deliver. It’s a very unique, quasi-cyber punkish feeling supernatural horror story offered up by also artist Steve Pugh. There is a very subtle feel reminiscent of Shirow Masamune’s Ghost in the Shell throughout all the books, but not so much to feel like the IP is being borrowed, it’s far too supernatural horror for that. Did I mention the art was dope? The story involves “Blue Lights,” which are, for our purposes, glorified ghosts that are rampant through a city torn with anti-police riots and street violence. The action starts fast and continues throughout all four issues. Wikipedia adequately explains the comics as:

…tak[ing] place in a science-fictional future. In it, the main character, Detective Alice Hotwire, sets out to save the world from “ectoplasmic catastrophe” that was caused by a security failure at the Maximum Security Necropolis. The break-in at the Necropolis causes “blue light ghosts” to become evil. Alice’s work is not appreciated by her fellow police colleagues. Therefore, Alice needs to overcome the villains and her lack of support to return the status quo.

The comics dropped back in February ’09 but only recently came to Comixology along with much of Radical’s backlog. Hotwire: Deep Cut is also available now in a 3 issue series addressing some of Alice’s back-story.

I’m seriously looking forward to discovering more of their work. One series I’m currently reading is Shrapnel, which is also an excellent and gritty work. And you may have heard of Radical before, these guys were the ones that released The Last Days of American Crime that received a lot of attention awhile back. So, all in all, I have a new gritty publishing company to enjoy. If you get a chance, go check these guys out.

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