Review: Mental Cases: A Study in Static #1
Timothy Olyphant is one of those actors that put viewers at ease as soon as he’s on screen. His starring role in Deadwood as Seth Bullock gave western fans a complicated protagonist. He was one which you never knew if you hated or loved. Usually, most of his performances are understated, which lies the brilliance. One of the few performances that he turned in which is both brilliant and magnetic was in the movie The Crazies. The film was about a toxic virus which enters a picturesque small town which infects everyone except for the sheriff played by Olyphant, his wife, and a young couple, who fight for their lives. His performance in the movie was commanding as another conflicted protagonist.
Much like Olyphant’s complicated heroes, especially in The Crazies, in the debut issue of Mental Cases: A Study in Static, we find two protagonists who despite their byzantine pasts must solve a mystery which are driving people throughout DC crazy with subliminal messages.
Sherman Helmes is a famous investigator who works for the Stargate Project. It’s the Army’s secret program which tracks the potential military applications of psychic powers. We also meet Joan Watts, a former military doctor whose last job had disastrous results. Her present seems vacant at the moment which leads her to a want ad for a roommate where she meets Sherman. The two don’t necessarily hit it off right away. Sherman’s deductive skills leave Joan uneasy but lead both of them to an incendiary situation. Sherman and Joan diffuse the situation but uncovers an epidemic of sporadic violent behavior, one that Sherman recognizes from a previous case. By Issue’s end, we find out about Sherman’s past as it relates to this case and find a new clue which may unravel something even more eerie.
Overall, a great debut issue, which introduces a couple of characters who are more Holmes and Watson than they are Mulder and Scully. The story by Caje Brennan Knight is smart and complex. The art by Diego Guerra is awe-inspiring. Altogether, a book which will grab the reader and which the reader won’t be able to put down.
Story: Caje Brennan Knight Art: Diego Guerra
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy