Review: Bylines in Blood #1
Throw us in a future that has echoes of our own reality. Follow the “Lady Dick” Satya, a former journalist turned gumshoe attempting to solve the murder of her former boss. The result is Bylines in Blood #1, an interesting new detective series that dances around what we experience every day.
Written by Erica Schultz and Van Jensen, Bylines in Blood #1 hits close to home in a thinly veiled mystery. A warped view of what reality is, corrupt politicians beholden to their donors, a plague that has split society, the series uses what we’ve experienced these past years as a building block for its story.
But, underneath all of that, the series seems to be focused on something so many are fighting for today, the discovery of the truth. This seems to be a story about manipulation by the powerful and the failure of our institutions to deal with that.
Schultz and Jensen have presented an interesting character in Satya. She’s not the usual detective, a former cop turned one. Instead, she’s a journalist turned one. We’re reminded she was a good journalist who strived to discover the truth, and along with her editor, made enemies along the way doing exactly that. It’s a subtle dig at our current systems where the truth isn’t generally a priority, establishing one’s own reality is. Schultz and Jensen seem to be reminding us that the system is failing us and institutions whose roles should be so clear, aren’t living up to them. In this case, it’s the police and clearly corrupt officers on the take of politicians. Throw in politicians themselves, religion, and even technology, and there’s a clear focus on what these two writers are trying to get at, our entire society is broken.
Aneke handles the art and gives us a future that’s very close to our own. It’s now so different than ours that throws us off and has us looking at all the neat new toys. Things are a bit advance, such as floating cameras that record everything going on. It’s an interesting take on a world that’s clearly a mirror to ours. The visuals are very much like that too with a slight exaggeration to our reality, much like the story itself. The art nails the pacing too delivering a slightly dour visual world that feels a bit dark but it doesn’t go over the top. The visuals capture the “detective” aspect of the story.
Bylines in Blood #1 is a pretty solid debut for those that enjoy detective stories. There’s something that really works but it’s the deeper themes and concepts that really stand out.
Story: Erica Schultz, Van Jensen Art: Aneke Letterer: Cardinal Rae
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy
AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review