TITLE: Imposter #1
AUTHOR: James Patrick
PENCILLER: Martin Szymanski. Cover by Victor Santos.
PUBLISHER: 21 Pulp
RELEASE DATE: February 10, 2016
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
I’ll say this much for Imposter, it’s got a hell of a scope. It’s one of those rare cop drama meets wizard/magic fantasy meets space adventure comics, featuring gorillas that talk. You don’t see those that often…
Hale Barker is a detective in Black City, facing off against a family of gangsters known as the Square Jaw Quadruplets. At his side is the city’s resident crime-fighting vigilante, The Centipede. But something is very wrong, not just in Black City, but in the mystical Tether Realm and the primitive Wild Lands. How are these events connected, and what do they mean for Hale Barker’s future?
I’ll stay spoiler-free here, but by the end of this story, Barker is given the chance to be a common thread between not only these realms, but various additional otherworldly settings. But who is Hale Barker, really? The impression we get from Imposter #1 is that he’s noble, but not entirely straight-laced in his detective work. And his response to the revelation at the end of the issue is intriguing. I’d have liked to have learned a bit more about him up front, but there’s only so much you can do in one issue.
It’s difficult to find one’s bearings in this issue initially, as so many different timeframes and settings are thrown at you so quickly. It also doesn’t help that we get a couple of groan-inducing lines. Nothing unforgivable, though. There also might be a misprint during the shoot-out in the first half of the issue. Barker says: “Yeah, we got that smuck.” I think they meant for him to say schmuck, i.e. the old fashioned word for a dope or a fool. Google the word “smuck” and Urban Dictionary will tell you it’s a Hebrew word for foreskin that’s chopped off at birth. I mean, maybe that’s what they meant. But somehow I doubt it.
Martin Szymanski’s work is somewhat reminiscent of what Matteo Scalera has done with Black Science over at Image. It’s not as polished, but the potential for variety in the content is what sparks the comparison. For instance, in the middle of the issue we abruptly transition from a scene involving gangsters and a superhero to a page with talking gorillas. It definitely takes some adjusting to, but after your first read-through you come to appreciate it.
I was disappointed to see that Imposter is only going to be four issues. We’re only an issue in, and it’s clear there’s so much that can be done with this concept. Not just with the various realms, but the potential to blur the lines between them and blend a little bit. Here’s hoping we get at least decent miniseries out of this, so we can do more exploring in the future.
Images courtesy of 21 Pulp.
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