Narcopolis: Continuum Review
It’s nice to contacted by people that genuinely want to know what we think of their work, and I’m happy that Scott Duvall, writer of Narcopolis: Continuum #1 was one of them. He contacted us early on and maintained contact with us in a professional and friendly manner. Also, we don’t many chances to review comics published by Heavy Metal, so I was intrigued.
A lot of the time. we get unsolicited press releases from creators that clearly are still working out some of the kinks, and sometimes we get them from creators that do not have a humble understanding of their abilities. It is our policy here to essentially do no harm. We will not write a bad review for a comic unless it is being promoted very heavily or has a sense of news around it. We also will not provide criticism directly unless it is specifically asked for by the creator. The fact that we are doing a review of this issue should give you a clue as to what I think of it in general.
Narcopolis: Continuum #1
(W) Scott Duvall
(A/CA) Ralf Singh, Nicolas Chapuis
$3.50/ In Shops: 1/13/2016
Part 1 of 4. In the near distant future, genius inventor Ben creates the ultimate drug. No ordinary narcotic, its effects will take Ben on a trip through time in an attempt to uncover the truth behind his father’s disappearance twenty years ago. In searching for answers, the past reveals its secrets that the young scientist won’t accept, even if it means risking everything he’s worked for. Based on the UK sci-fi thriller starring Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons), Elodie Yung (Marvel’s Daredevil), James Callis (Battlestar Galatica), and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil), Narcopolis: Continuum explores new corners of the world introduced in the movie.
I have not seen the film this story is based on, so this comic is my entry into this world. It would have been very easy to just assume that the reader had seen it, and it would have been a very foolish mistake. The world gets established although the conflict in the beginning is a little too small in scale to work as effectively as I would hope. The story progresses fast, almost a little too fast, but there does seem to be a sense of urgency created by the circumstances of Ben’s employment. The last two pages work magnificently, and were an excellent development that I probably should have seen coming, but didn’t.
The artwork has a very angular feel to it, but the male characters look too similar to differentiate easily. Thankfully, the story follows Ben tightly so there’s little actual confusion and the narrative isn’t lost. The style is very angular, and very spacious, but in the setting of Ben’s lab, it works, given that this company he works for is very wealth/ However, I would really like to see a lab scene where the researcher is given a room only as big enough as they need for their research. Otherwise the artwork, once I got used to the style, read nicely and had enough detail to give believable environments and handled the storytelling well. There are some instances where the perspective is a bit wonky, but not where it counts.
Overall, not a very bad comic, and worthy of the caliber that I’ve come to expect from Heavy Metal as a publisher. I will most likely be back for the next issue, hoping that it remains consistent.