Finally, Orlok has put fingers to tablet and typed up a review of #3. It’s about time too…
A really good Haley cover again which has a great play of light on the uniform with the colour making Anderson the sole focus for the reader and perps attacking her. There’s a nice pose too from Anderson and her perps. And no jugs on display for the prudish to gnash their teeth at.
The art continues to be clever and effective in equal measures. There’s some hilarity at the start with wiseguy Zoot being nothing more than a brain in a jar (which brings back fond memories of the Bonnie Crickle case) but yet he is still about to enjoy a cocktail.
The patterns on the wiseguy shirts were nice as was Anderson pointing her Lawgiver at brick shithouse Tony without even looking at him.
The panels with Falk and Omar are beautifully posed with some truly great worried expressions and hand movements from Omar. The shadow work for the last panel of page 6, on the desk and computer screen, was excellent and this is only topped by the gorgeous closing pages of the story.
The offworld dancers at the club are a joy to behold and the one like a cat could easily have come off the set of Shatner Shitfest Star Trek V. She even has an outfit that has multiple nipple coverage and the ensemble must have a dozen jugs between them, almost enough to make Rich happy. Almost.
Critchlow pulls off some nice bikework and there is a surprise appearance by Shapiro’s Hottie House too.
I absolutely loved the close up of Anderson reading the citizen on page 15. She’s showing damage here on her face which remains consistent throughout and the close up of her eyes gives us a physical insight her exertions which is masterful stuff.
Best of all is the stunning work in the parking garage with the brilliant use of misted light flooding in and Cass’s shadow on the ground as she walks through. The close up of her surprised eyes is again brilliant. I love how one panel is also re-used (with grainy effects) for the security camera image.
Anderson expresses some of her trademark flippancy here (“Knock knock, bozos”) as well as her anti-authoritarian streak in her dealings with Omar and Falk.
Her crackdown on the organisation, ably helped by Zoller has clearly worried Falk who may in fact be on the take, especially since he reinforces the myth angle and seems reluctant to stir things up. This could be simple pride fucking with him, though. Ashberry mentions having people at the Grand Hall, so it could well be him. If that’s the case, Zoller is now compromised too.
The scarified being able to pass on their psi bomb ability is something that rightly concerns Anderson since anyone can now be a threat.
It’s a risky strategy by Anderson to set herself up the way she does but it enables her to trace the location of Ashberry and take the fight to him. Despite her flippancy she actually does doubt herself a little which is nice writing by Smith and her reluctance to squeeze the trigger for kill shots on the poor saps under psi control is a testament to her morality overriding her self-preservation.
She didn’t have the same compunction with the security dudes and simply sets about them in quick fashion. Cleverly, Smith has avoided the standard Redshirt model and these guys are well trained, giving concise non-verbal instructions to surround and subdue their quarry.
The final reveal of Ashberry shows why we haven’t seen his face until now. Is he a mutant or something more?
There are three points that cement the slight fuck up by Smith by having Omar as Psi Chief before the Apocalypse War, whcih isn’t the way it happened.
First is the fact that again we see the city (especially Psi Div) in pristine condition.
Second the Sovs are mentioned as enemies when that’s not a real concern post Apocalypse War.
Third is the mention of the Grand Hall which was still a smoking ruin after the war until rebuilt in 2106.