Friday, October 29, 2010

Hotwire: Deep Cut #2

by Steve Pugh

I think Hotwire might be just about the most original and interesting science fiction comic being published these days.  The concept, which has to do with 'blue lights', returned spirits or souls taking an electro-magnetic form, is endlessly fascinating, as Pugh continues to explore it in novel ways.

One key factor of this issue has to do with the US military's approach to the Blue Lights, which involves their recognition of them as immortal souls, and not the electric phenomenon that Alice, the hero of the book, has so strenuously maintained.  Of course, with this second volume of Alice's adventures, we are learning that we don't know the cantankerous Detective of Exorcisms all that well, especially since she is living with a former blue light boyfriend.

It's the moral ambiguity, police politics, and paramilitary turf wars that make this comic so interesting, as a militarized blue light makes off with the ghost of a woman who died in last issue's car accident.  This book is stuffed full with story and characterization, helping to demonstrate what a great writer Pugh is.

And then we get to the absolute best part of this comic - the art.  Pugh is incredible, and one of the few artists who paints comics that I find endlessly readable.  I usually get bored with painted comics (which is why I read so few of Radical's other titles), but I love what Pugh is doing here.

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