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My addiction to comics has evolved to an insane level since I’ve moved to the UK. As I mentioned before, comics are not as common in France, specially if you don’t live in big cities like Lyon or Paris. So we only have translated TPB and hard-cover editions. Indie comics are rare. So now, besides buying weekly issues, I also allow myself to buy – and discover – new indie stories, mostly TPB volumes.
And I think I couldn’t have chosen a better forgotten piece than this one. Mysterious Ways. Just so you know, when I’m in the shop, I pick some random titles, and if the art and the synopsis catch my attention, I just go for it. That’s what happened with this one. I’ll tell you right away, I loved it, and it was a pleasure to go through this volume. Now, why do some gems like this one stay forever forgotten and never get the attention they deserve? Damn, even finding a proper image on Google is difficult!
Created and directed by Jason RUBIN (Director of Crash Bandicoot/Co-Founder and Co-President of Naughty Dog and President of THQ) and penciled by Tyler KIRKHAM (Green Lantern Corps), we have a surprising but nonetheless perfect team to produce an interesting comic series. And when the director of Crash Bandicoot writes an horror/mystery thriller, it can only pique my curiosity.
Rated Mature, our main character – Sam – is an alcoholic and convicted ex-cop. While he wastes his life in booze and strippers, he wakes up one day with a mysterious piece of silver in his hand, and finds himself the prime suspect of a serial murder case pursued by a relentless FBI agent. But Sam won’t let himself get arrested. And despite his recent lack of memory and his certitude of being innocent, we start questioning whether our main character is really innocent. When everyone turns their back on him, former co-workers, friends, the shrink, and even his ex-fiancee, we also start wondering whether he just doesn’t lose his mind. Until a Priest backs him up, and despite all the craziness of God and Satan, we keep following his journey to seek truth.
The art is dark and fits the story. The mature content is only limited to some dosed ‘gorish’ scenes and a few sexual allusions. But Jason Rubin draws the perfect line so we never fall into the grotesque. The style of Tyler Kirkham matches the story. The traits feel sometimes slovenly but still with enough detail to give a general beauty, maturity and realistic feeling.
You might feel the story in general is full of stereotypes, but it’s pleasant enough to keep reading, and in the end it’s worth to know that Jason Rubin has kept a good balance between the stereotypes and the originality. We have a basic murder case, then the basic religious plot involving Heaven and Hell, while the Devil is trying to achieve his goal but the chosen of God will prevent it. While all of this is happening, we still have our mind full of doubts about what is true and what is not, whether Sam is going mad or not. And it’s when we get to the bottom of it and find the truth, that the end is slightly different from what we would have initially expected.
I think Mysterious Ways is perfect. It can relate to Constantine or any other story with a anti-hero chosen by God, but this one is slightly different than the others, and it keeps you on the edge until the very end. The art is brilliant, and fits the story perfectly. I particularly enjoyed the portrait of the main character and specially the fact that he’s physically a wreck. A forty years old alcoholic and convicted ex-cop, who’s not in shape anymore but will ravage everything on his path with the pure brutality driving him. The FBI agent is well-written and the events related to him come as a surprise. The priest does the job and finally it’s amazing to see the different stages of the ex-fiancee along the story. Overall, every characters surprise us and the story never gets boring. I truly recommend this gem. It deserves to be known and appreciated for its quality. I’d even imagine a great cinematographic adaptation, and it makes me sad to see beautiful work like this being forgotten when nowadays so many meaningless pieces get recognition.
To me, this is Platinum.
Jason Rubin, Tyler Kirkham, Sal Regla
Sam, an alcoholic convicted ex-cop, wakes up with a mysterious piece of silver in his hand and soon finds himself the priome suspect in a serial murder case pursued by a relentless, picture perfect FBI agent. But in this story of stereotypes, nothing is what it seems Video game industry titan JASON RUBIN (THE IRON SAINT, Crash Bandicoot) teams with TYLER KIRKHAM (Green Lantern Corps) to bring a dark, action-packed supernatural thriller that will have you questioning everything you believe. This collection gathers the entire series alongside a complete cover gallery, sketch gallery, and additional bonus content.