With a couple of successful Kickstarter campaigns behind it to fund the first two issues I take a look at issue #1 of this dark, cyber-detective thriller.
Writer Ovi Demetrian Jr & artist Jen Hickman team-up to bring us the story of a hacker turned murderer who steals the online presence of his victims to hide any crime has been committed at all. On the flip-side of that is hacker/Private Investigator Joe Macintosh (aka Casper) who has managed to find some of the details of these crimes and pass them onto Detective Lisa Adams. Although he’s been using a far more creative way of passing on his message – by hacking the Philadelphia Police Department’s computer system.
There’s no malicious intent here but as word gets out about files being hacked and new files being dropped into the PPD’s “secure” system – the powers that be are less than impressed with this being kept a secret and not exactly keen on bringing their mysterious helper on-board. The subject matter is deeply unsettling given the importance we all put on social media & emails to keep in contact with people and make arrangements.
After being dropped into the midst of the most recent murder/identity theft the momentum is constant with just enough time to take in the intricate clues and merest hint at what’s happening in the darker elements of the story. Weaving in all these elements could have gotten messy but Ovi manages to balance everything perfectly and keep the mystery very real and intriguing. Couple that with the simple and effect artwork from Jen who manages to blend the gruesome scenes, the office politics in the PPD and the beginning of an investigation that could become one of those hidden gems that appear throughout the indie comic scene.
Smart, intricate and worthy of a BIG audience – it’s a wonder I haven’t read this sooner.