Inferno – Mike Carey & Michael Gaydos

This is an interesting tale that has you working hard to put the pieces together as the action thunders along. A man is murdered, up in hell and everyone there knows him; but as someone else he has no memory of. He must work to find out who he really is or who others think he is. It explores the themes of identity and what makes us who we are against a backdrop of the ticking clock thriller.

It is set almost exclusively in Hell and there is no fire or brimstone in sight. The infernal realm is an infinite city where people live forever endlessly plotting and scheming to advance themselves or at least ease their suffering. Magic is rife and demonic creatures of varying powers are also common. The setting is believable and displays its own internal logic and consistency.

The art is pure black and white like Sin City and whilst this isn’t my favourite style it does a great job of conveying the bleakness of an eternal hell. The characters and action are all well enough defined that you have no problems following along.

This was a good story that operated on many levels simultaneously. You initially start off as confused as the lead character and go on a real journey through this alien landscape. Both of you peel away the layers of what has gone before and who the antagonist truly is. Thumbs Up!

45/320.

Tomorrow: Singularity 7 – Ben Templesmith

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Thirteen – Mike Carey

This is a reprint of a story serialised in 2000AD and it’s a cracking read. With a British writer and artist everything feels authentic and the jokes and cultural references are genuinely relevant. It’s not heady sci-fi and there is no deep message but this is a great cinematic romp.

It was fun to read, excellently illustrated and has a protagonist you can root for – you just wouldn’t lent him any money. It made me smile and so I definitely give it a Thumbs Up!

28/337.

Tomorrow: London’s Dark – James Robinson & Paul Johnson

The Stranded – Mike Carey

A little bit of Heroes, a little bit of Power Rangers but a lot of Marvel’s Eternals. Aliens have been hidden on earth and psychically conditioned to believe they are human. Their enemies turn up and start bumping them off. Thus begins a six issue mad chase of destruction around America with some pauses for back-story.

The comic book is being specially written to be made into a Sci-fi channel series. It’s never a good idea to constrain yourself as a writer and the added pressure of only writing stories that can be made on a Cable TV budget isn’t going to help. Perhaps that’s what stops this turning from a good story into a great one.

It’s quite entertaining and had me reading till the end. The final reveal made me want to read the second book. Such a shame Virgin Comics folded and there is no more. It was good while it lasted. Thumbs Up!

6/359.

Tomorrow: Xombie Reanimated – James Farr