The first volume of Russell Mark Olsen’s Gateway City collects the opening four issues of his series and a pulp series with a sci-fi edge to it seemed to tick far too many boxes associated to some of my favourite things to risk missing out……feverish reading & re-reading is GO!!!
Private investigator “Lundy” Lundqvist is embroiled in his latest investigation with his sights set on mob boss Johnny Russo who is involved in a number of activates that are far from lawful. Lundy has his own theories linking Russo to a double-homicide but while looking for the crucial evidence he finds out that the criminal element in Gateway City have stretched beyond the grips of Prohibition America and into a far more galactic form of OTT entertainment.
Lundy’s past is stretched out in front of us as it intermingles with the off-world invaders being giving a free pass into the city thanks to the embrace of the mob in all its forms. It’s a rollercoaster of elements from here as pulp noir, sci-fi, gladiatorial battles and monsters invading from a Ray Harryhausen B-movie spill across the pages in a controlled depiction of chaos.
Those elements are ambitious to tackle on their own let alone running them together and if you can commit to going with the flow it’s safe to say that Russell does well at weaving a well-balanced story. The dialogue is punchy and varied across those different themes but he manages to tie it all together with a tight script that handles the flip between them thanks to the Lundy character acting as an anchor at the title’s core.
Artistically, it’s got a gritty feel to it which manages to capture the tension, the adventure & the awe in those large set-pieces and that helps to bridge the gaps across the plots & worlds he’s created. Stylish as hell in each of those themes and the pages glow with the bold colours that are needed to hit home the key parts of what’s happening around Lundy – shout out to Emily Olson on her colour assists too.
The first volume of Gateway City undoubtedly manages to keep momentum flowing from start to finish and navigates things away from being too jarring between those elements which leaves you coasting through a book that entertains. Four issues in and the last panel left me crushed that I couldn’t read the next part straight away….roll-on issue #5…..AND the rest.
You can keep up to date with all of Russell’s projects over on his website or on his Facebook & Twitter pages. This release and his other titles can be picked up over on his online store or you can catch-up on the first volume of Gateway City over on the Comichaus website or App.