Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review: Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1

I dug Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1, a cyberpunk Ghostbusters written and illustrated by Steve Pugh from a story by Warren Ellis. It's good spooky fun.

The story is set in a near-future where the dead have returned as "blue-lights": ghosts that feed off electromagnetic waste. Alice Hotwire, a "Detective Exorcist," hunts down problematic blue-lights. Her newest case involves a powerful ghost that somehow overrode a "suppressor tower" and got into an area reserved for the living. She's also facing non-paranormal problems: her fellow cops think she leaked a video of police brutality to the public, causing widespread rioting.

Ellis came up with this idea for Pugh several years ago, but it was left unfinished when the original publisher went under. Pugh continued to tinker with the character and story until hooking up with relatively-new publisher Radical Comics to put out this four-issue mini-series. Perhaps because of this history, the book feels like more thought has gone into it than most genre comics. The creators have done an excellent job building and fleshing out this world, Hotwire has a fully-developed personality, complete with flaws that help drive the action along, and there are multiple conflicts set up between Hotwire and her new partner, her boss, the other cops, the ghosts, and the rioters that create an opportunity for a lot of good drama and action.

(click to enlarge)

Steve Pugh's art is pretty terrific. It's creepy and techno-y, with nice character designs and fancy special effects that are appropriate for the story. He does a particularly good job depicting the blue-lights, for instance:

(click to enlarge)

I liked this book, and look forward to reading the rest of the series. You can see a six-page preview at Heavy Ink here.

Disclaimer: This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

No comments:

Post a Comment