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Comic Review: ‘Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead’
Tom Slaski   |  

Hotwire; Requiem for the Dead
#3 of 4
Written, Illustrated and lettered by Steve Pugh
Created by Warren Ellis and Steve Pugh
Radical Publishing, Inc.
Cover price: $2.99; On-sale date: May 2009

Blue-Lights have started to penetrate the suppressor fields into the cities and are possessing the living. The living are being turned into “Ghost-Bombs,” capable of enormous damage. When the dead threaten the living, you call the police and they have a department of One to take care of the problem. The Detective Exorcist, Alice Hotwire.

This is the foreword on this Warren Ellis and Steve Pugh created miniseries. Newcomer Radical Publishing is producing this comic, based on a story by Warren Ellis, which, judging by the intense, strange, vivid world and equally traited characters, is not hard to believe. Steve Pugh is handling the rest of the series though, by writing, illustrating and even lettering this futuristic/technological ghost/zombie story.

It’s tough picking up what’s going on at the beginning of the book without having read the first two issues of the miniseries, so I recommend you do so before reading this ish. The scene does slowly evolve and it shines on some very unconventional future ghosts. Or are they the dead that have been brought back to life through artificial intelligence? That may be a fine line no matter what.

Our main heroine, Alice Hotwire doesn’t do much to fend these creatures off of her seemingly red-shirted Star Trek crew fellow police officers, who serve as fodder for the ghosts. And she is disappointingly stumped at the conclusion of this adventure by a seemingly underwhelming obstacle.

The ghosts, and futuristic world, only seem to be around to be a vehicle to deliver some clincher or twist to come in issue four. The back story of millions rioting to get at two policemen who are accused of police brutality and Hotwire herself having something to do with a cover up that is getting covered up could happen in any police force at any time. The gratuitous creatures and setting don’t seem to exist in the story, they seem to exist around the story.

The story dialogue, which is by Pugh, seems strangely disjointed from the artwork, especially since Pugh is making that as well. And even lettering. The painted art is awesome though, very realistic and cool and dark, perfect for the story and setting, if perhaps slightly stiff at times. There is a great scene where Hotwire is walking down a dark corridor and the walls and ceiling morph into a skull.

If you’re a fan of Warren Ellis, you’ll like this book. It’s not as tight as an Ellis book, but it definitely has his wild, futuristic fingerprint. If you’re a fan of Steve Pugh’s art, you won’t be disappointed either. Either way be sure to pick up at the start of the miniseries and let’s hope we see Hotwire “hook up” in the series finale.

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