Typically I review graphic novels and not individual comic books, but this was offered up by the publisher on NetGalley and it looked interesting, so I requested it — and I’m glad I dad!
There is nothing ‘typical’ about this book. Let’s start with the story:
This is our not-too-distant future. The doctor is called in by the police to help with an unusual death. The doctor, who appears to be highly sought-after in unusual and impossible cases, has unusual methods, able to get in to a victim’s mind to see his last thoughts. Our current case, in this first issue, promises to lead our strange doctor on a stranger journey. Although our primary story takes place in the year 2045, the preface to the story begins 100 years earlier – 1945, in a Japanese prison camp. This promises to be VERY unusual.
The art: I am not a stickler for realistic comic book art, despite what some of my earlier reviews may lead one to believe — I only feel that if the attempt is to be realistic, then it needs to follow through. The attempt here is something very different. This art is highly stylized with thick, bold lines and equally thick grey shading. Imagine, if you can, Edvard Munch art as a woodblock print. There is color, used sparingly, so that it has much more of an impact when we see it. And while our doctor quite resembles the white Spy vs. Spy™ character from Mad Magazine©, he is eerie, almost frightening, rather than Mad comical. I don’t know if the term has been used before or not, but I will look at this as a perfect example of ‘future noir’ style.
It is true that I regularly seem to gripe about publishers putting out books that are not complete books (beginning, middle, and end) but rather teaser books that force an interested reader to buy the next volume. However, I have never felt that the same rules apply to comic books. Put out on a regular publishing schedule in small paged editions, I expect to be strung along to a larger story arc (a graphic novel, however, should contain a complete story arc of individually published comics). The fact this first issue of Dr. 2 does not complete a story does not bother me. It only makes me want to visit my local comic book store to sign up to get the next few issues when they are released.
I really like just how different this book is, both with its story and its art, and yet how compelling it is. I truly want to know more about the doctor and the world in which he lives. I will definitely give this a few more issues to see if the enticement is worth the journey.
Looking for a good book? While not a book, or even a graphic novel, this first issue of a new comic book series is a highly original, future noir mystery that promises an exciting and unusual set of characters and circumstances.
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Dr. 2 – Issue 1
authors: James Chiang & Peter Tieryas
artist: James Chiang
series: Dr 2 #1
publisher: Doc Two Publishing
ebook, 42 pages