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by Doug Warren on January 24, 2018

Written by Saladin Ahmed
Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Colored by Jason Wordie
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Published by BOOM! Studios

I love how all encompassing this comic is—from racial tensions to police brutality, down to the personal life and past lovers of journalist Elena Abbott. And 1972 Detroit is the perfect backdrop for the story.

I hadn’t read up any on this title before I picked up the first issue, so I was surprised when it took a supernatural turn. Full disclosure, I prefer stories based in reality and that don’t move over to that realm, but that is 100% personal preference. I am sure for every person like me who finds the supernatural a deterrent, there are 10 people who see it as a selling point (especially among comic book fans). So, I just had to get that out there. But do know, my personal bias in that regard won’t affect my rating or review, because this book is just so ridiculously good.

A strong female lead working in a 1970s newsroom. Sounds like Mary Tyler Moore, right? I think the creators saw that too, and gave the old series a nod when the bosses come in named Mr. Grant and Mr. Moore. But, similarities stop there. Unless there was an episode of MTM where a police horse was mutilated and a junky ripped in half. Man. Can you imagine? Whole family gathered around the living room TV to watch Mary Tyler Moore and get some laughs, and THAT was the episode? They should’ve done it. It would be the most talked about TV episode of all time.

I’m getting sidetracked.

The depth that Ahmed has given to the character of Elena Abbott is impressive, especially considering we only have 30 pages to get to know her. And, I know all writers try to do this, but he really does show and not tell. As the lone female reporter, and reporter of color for that matter, working at a “white” newspaper, she has a great rapport with her boss, based on mutual trust.

And as strained as her relationship is with the police (she’s the reporter who cover the police brutality against a black teenager), she does have her way of getting in, and she’s not going to be pushed over or intimidated.

I originally typed “the artwork is what really brings this comic to life,” but, that’s not true. The book has amazing writing that would stand up on its own, but the artwork compliments it perfectly. The color palette lends itself to the era, and when you open the first page and read DETROIT, 1972 and see the font used and color choice and images around it, know the entire comic will be of that quality.

This really is the best comic I’ve picked up in months. Do yourself a favor and check it out. 

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