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Review: Carbon #1

The beloved HBO showThe Wire was one of the best portrayal of a city on television that anyone could remember. The show only lasted a few seasons but gave a precise, if not meticulous, overview of what makes the city of Baltimore so interesting and complicated. The first season was a slow burn until the last few episodes which pulled in the rest of the world. The show encompassed complex characters, interesting situations, and heavy stakes. This became a standard bearer for storytelling, as each season resembled a Charles Dickens classic, just updated for modern times.

This focus on different narratives and points of view suddenly became a staple of writers everywhere. This has also become a hit with readers, as this keeps a reader’s attention when certain characters either get too boring or simply annoy them. This is also fascinating to read in comic books. It’s what makes comic book anthologies so alluring to readers and have them looking for collections like the ones put out by Iron Circus Comics. In the first volume of Justin Madson’s Carbon, we get put in the middle of a city full of characters, all trying to make their way through life.

We meet Jaron who is about to celebrate his sister’s birthday, Powell, something he is not quite looking forward to. We also Meet Carbon, a private detective at his wits end, trying make his business successful, but finding roadblocks instead, until he sees a case needing solving from the local newspaper. We also meet Savannah, a waiter who also struggles with her addiction to a drug. We also meet a retied couple, Daniel and Arie, who are trying to have a baby. By issue’s end, some of our characters cross paths and others make life changing decisions.

Overall, it’s an excellent introduction to this world and these fascinating characters. The story by Madson is deeply affecting, humorous, and relatable. The art by Madson is alluring and vivid.  Altogether, it’s an excellent comic book which will make new fans of Madson’s work.

Story: Justin Madson Art: Justin Madson
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

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