G.I. Gary’s Pull List Pick of the Week – 6/13/18
“Analog” #3 from Image Comics
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Cover Artist: David O’Sullivan
Cover Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Variant Cover: John McCrea & Mike Spicer
Interior Artist: David O’Sullivan
Colorist: Mike Spicer
“The whole world’s living in a digital dream / It’s not really there / It’s all on the screen / Makes me forget who I am / I’m an analog man” – Joe Walsh – “Analog Man”
In the not too distant future, 2024, the web has been exposed for what it is. After the largest data breach possible, where people have had all their secrets exposed to anyone who cares to access it, the population has divided. On one side, people are documenting their entire lives no matter how banal, insipid, or lewd. The other half has completely rejected all sorts of internet technology, aware that it’s still all around them anyways. Our protagonist, Jack McGinnis, had an influential role in that breach that has separated humankind.
Jack is a courier. He delivers documents via a briefcase to his destination. He never opens his cases. He’s been nabbed by the NSA who wants to snoop around Jack’s cases and find out if national secrets are being ferried out of the country. And even if they aren’t Federal in nature, they just want to keep tabs anyways. He instructs his contact to get word back about how the NSA is planning on stealing the info. He has a girlfriend named Oona, who is a “hitman.”
This issue is essentially just another day in Jack’s life. It starts with him getting a new briefcase that needs to go to Japan. But while getting his assignment he gets word that Oona had trouble, and is still in jeopardy. So, before he can start his job he needs to eliminate the loose end, for partly selfish reasons. However, the NSA intercepts and kidnaps him to get the contents of his assignment. Time is running out for Jack, partly because the Japanese are transporting information in a now rare analog format that the NSA is not equipped to copy. They reluctantly release Jack, so he has limited time to take care of Oona’s issue, but once completed he makes time to reunite with her to share a moment.
Gerry Duggan’s story is straight forward and uses the setting and the cast well. We are offered some commentary on current life. A disdain for modern technology and how it intrudes, and using the NSA and Nazis as our protagonist’s enemies, are both current topics in our media. By having Jack as a courier, it stands to reason he will have interaction with a great deal of characters, presenting many paths to take the story down. The current cast have proven to be great compliments to Jack, being engaging, while making Jack himself more endearing, even when he makes hard choices that could alienate the reader from him.
David O’Sullivan’s art is a great fit. Not only do his layouts guide the eye wonderfully, it also doesn’t jump around, making the story linear. He throws in great details all over the panels showing the wide variety of life in the city. His penciling style looks reminiscent of Batman the Animated Series, but his inks take the clean lines and rough them up to make the characters look harder in this future as needed. His facial expressions are perfect and help convey the dialogue well. Mike Spicer’s colors are generally toned down to add to the muddled urban vibe. The colors set the mood, and he doesn’t brighten things up as the story gets to a more cheery point. Overall the art can be summed up by the main cover with Oona hiding in the TV store. It’s like you’re looking at these images on an old CRT TV, rather than the latest HD flatscreen. It helps with themes of not having, or needing, the latest and greatest technologies, and how the older technologies may provide a level of security.
So this issue ranks 4 beers out of a 6 pack. It’s very solid and enjoyable. The whole series I’d recommend to anyone who likes true crime storytelling or people that like dystopian futures.
Until next time!
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