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The Fuse #1

by mahargen on February 11, 2014

Writer - Antony Johnston

Art - Justin Greenwood, Shari Chankhamma

 

Genre mash-ups are a two-edged blade.  They can be really cool and show the reader a new world, or they can come across as bad fanfic and leave a less than welcome taste in the reader’s mouth.  The Fuse gives us a mixed bag of both in it’s debut issue.

 

We’ll start off with the great stuff that drew me in to this story.  Read the last page, Johnston’s introductory letter to the reader, and you’ll see that he wears his influences on his sleeve.  He isn’t ashamed, these are the things he loves and The Fuse is an amalgamation of several of them.  We get a part detective, part sci-fi, part moody character piece that presents a deeply lived-in world.  The worldbuilding here is what Johnston really nails.  There is a history, not only to the characters, but the world itself that the story takes place within.  We’re jumping into the middle of this world.  The infatuation with the advancements in technology is gone, and what was once unthinkable is now commonplace.  It’s an interesting direction which really allows Johnston to work on the story.

 

The story wasn’t my biggest hang-up in the issue, but rather the manner in which it was presented.  Everything came off as incredibly stiff due to the dialogue.  I’m not entirely sure what Johnston was aiming for in the way his characters interacted, but it didn’t come across as warm or inviting to me.  The element of the “procedural” here is fine.  There’s a reason that format works so well across different mediums.  Things did feel somewhat rushed, sort of like Johnston was checking boxes on a list.  Those things aside, I really enjoyed the friction between the hardened veteran homicide detective and her new young partner.  Their relationship is what will determine the success of this book.  Hopefully it continues in the direction it is headed and we get a solid foundation for future stories.  Until Johnston kills one of them, that is.

 

Greenwood and Chankhamma do not have any easy task at hand here.  Outside of fantasy, sci-fi is probably one of the most difficult genres to visually create and have the product come across as believable.  The team does well here.  There isn’t much focus outside of the city, which lessens the load quite a bit.  There are a few wide shots of space and The Fuse itself which add to the scope of the story, and they are handled well, if not a little blandly.  The color schemes tend to fluctuate a great deal between panels (and in panels themselves) which is interesting, but somewhat distracting.

 

The Verdict…



Not a perfect introduction to the story, but enough to keep me interested.  I’ll be back for issue two with hopes the team ironed out some of the wrinkles and gotten themselves into more of a groove.

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside