Creator/Writer Paul Axel & artist Renee Majkut hit us with the first two issues of their six-part series Rotten Roots that’s a crime thriller with a historical twist.
Detective Mark Robles takes on his first case after moving out of Chicago to Osprey City, Massachusetts and what seems like a change of gear for the easy life is far from it. The first two murders (and surely not the last) Robles gets to investigate are linked far deeper than just the distant relations the victims turn out to be. The Wood family are ingrained in Osprey City and the parallels with these murders and historic cases that have already unfolded around their ancestors draws our Detective further into the darker side of the residents and the City’s long & checkered past.
There’s a refreshing feel to the book as it steps out of your typical high-rise surroundings and into that small town feel which gives the historic elements much more credibility. The reluctance to give any information over to this stranger is tangible enough to leave you with that niggling doubt that there’s something far bigger on the go. That in itself makes this a title that intrigues and given the flip between today’s case and the past, it’s a brilliant ride we’re on-board for.
Art wise it’s consistent with a couple of minor dips here n there but the modern-day mixing with flashbacks to the past are handled particularly well to drip-feed the Detective and us crucial clues. This builds us up to some key moments and typically suspense-filled final pages in these first two issues that really make Rotten Roots something to take notice of.