Mad Robot Comics has already been a strong source of entertaining indie titles and this latest release sees writer Matt Hardy team-up with Ash Deadman to co-create something different.
It’s all set in the picturesque village of Fadfield as Detective Inspector Rutherford arrives from the big city just in time for the murders to start. He’s teamed up with village local Detective Sergeant Bonham and the body count rises just as quickly as the list of suspects. The simple life of County Fair’s, pints of Cider down the pub & bake sales begins to evaporate but the locals soldier on to sustain their skewed sense of normalcy between police interviews & slices of cake.
There’s an instant comparison with the likes of Hot Fuzz and a number of other TV detective shows but that’s all part of creative plan from Matt & Ash. Opening with a sense of the familiar is a slick way of catching us off-guard and as the buddy comedy with a very British heart plays out between the two Detectives, it’s hard to figure out just how things are going to work out……until it’s hitting you right in the eyeballs.
That story is taken to another level with the art from Clark Bint as the detail he adds and the almost experimental panel layouts helps give the B-movie gore some cult film visuals. That’s all polished off with Edward Bentley’s distinct & moody colours and some typically expert-level lettering from Robin Jones. Which leaves us with a creative team that’s taken on the challenge from the writers and thrown it back with interest – giving the whole book the weight of something special hidden under that familiar surface.
Engaging, gore-filled and disarming from the beginning which helps increasingly hint at the revelations to come and as the story & locals begin to unravel, this could well be a new benchmark for Mad Robot and many other indie publishers as the same time. Go read this and get yourself two copies because the colour & noir versions are both stunning.