Ten Minutes On… The Fuse

comics-the-fuse-1OK, I’ve got a cold so this is going to be an even blurrier and less coherent ten minuter than usual.

The Fuse. the first two issues of which are out now from Image, is an SF police procedural comic set on a space station in the not terribly far future. Detective stories in fantasy or SF settings can be hard to do, as it can be difficult to rule any possibility out of the mystery if the rules of that imaginary world aren’t clear.

Writer Antony Johnston (Wasteland, lots of other things) solves this problem by presenting an utterly grounded future where we can be pretty certain from the off that teleports and psychic powers aren’t going to turn up.* The Fuse, a vast space station where humanity has colonised every open space between the working areas, feels like a real, practical place, with a society and problems that are its own but not unrelatable.

At the centre of the story are the two detectives, a white, slightly androgynous Russian woman who is the senior of the two  and a black, German man who is a newbie to The Fuse. Although the latter, Dietrich, is our nominal viewpoint character both are intriguing and clearly have secrets, and their dynamic is vital to the appeal of the comic. Although Johnston has had this story in mind for long before the TV series The Bridge came along, there’s something of that show’s mismatched central partnership here, and a similar strong sense of place.

Justin Greenwood’s art is fantastic, with colours by Shari Chankhamma. The Fuse feels real and nuanced, and the characters are distinct and full of expression. You get where this fits on the genre spectrum with a glance at the page, which is vital for this kind of story.

In a golden age of Image launches this is one of the strongest.

 

* This is not a guarantee, so don’t complain to me if an esper teleports in on page 2 of #3.

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March 25, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized.

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