Indie Comic Review: Comeback #1

Another promising debut from Image which falls apart a bit in he final pages.

Reconnect is more than a company – it’s an opportunity for good. Reconnect can reverse tragedy by sending agents into the past to rescue your mother, your wife, your brother or father or child moments before their untimely death. Mark is one of these agents. He brings the rescued from the past to the present, to a blessed reunion with their loved ones. He saves lives…or does he?

Ed Brisson has a strong concept with Comeback. Families hire the Reconnect company to go back in time and whisk loved ones away before accidents take their lives. It is a dangerous job. Things can go wrong. Clearly the job is taking its toll on Mark’s partner, Seth. He is exhausted, burnt out, and ready to quit. There is the cliched conversation about how “this assignment is going to be my last one.” We all know how that works out.

But cliches aside, Comeback is a morally troubling idea. There is a company that has the means to save people’s lives. But, because they are a company, they have to charge for their services. They charge a lot, meaning that the only people who can afford these services are the exceptionally wealthy. Even when you factor out the cost aspect, the people who are being “saved” are really being saved from themselves. The first person who is being rescued appears to be on the run from the mob. The next person died while drinking and driving. It is not like these are research scientists who happened to be crossing the street when a tree fell on them. No one is actually learning anything from this except that money can cover up a lot of mistakes, and that has been clear for hundreds of years. Hopefully Brisson will delve into this moral quagmire a bit as the mini-series progresses.

Brisson also introduces a third time traveller who may or may not be associated with the Reconnect company. He never appears with the other operatives, but it is clear that he has associates. Everyone knows that competition is good for business, so maybe this is a smaller start-up company that is trying to get a piece of the action. Eiher way, the appearance of a third individual whose methods seem to differ from Reconnect sets up the exciting possibility of a cross-time conflict. Unfortunately this is not explored at all and the lack of information about the character leads to more questions than answers.

That “more questions than answers” part is where the book starts to come undone at the end. THe mysterious third person is on a mission. But it is unclear who he is saving, why he is saving them, and generally what the hell is going on. Instead of ending with a dramatic note, the book ends with a big question mark. Having re-read the book twice now, I don’t think I am missing anything. I don’t think there is more information to be had. I think the scene is supposed to be vague. As far as endings go, it is not that great.

The art by Michael Walsh has a bit of a Sean Phillips feel to it. The characters are rendered simply, with thick black lines suggesting as much as they actually mark. The “Criminal” effect is enhanced by the coloring of Jordie Bellaire who pays a great deal of attention to light. He colors everything in each scene with the same palette, creating a homogeny between the characters and the setting. If you are a fan of Sean Phillips and Criminal, you will probably dig the art on Comeback.

Comeback is a gritty sci-fi story that has a strong concept and plenty of potential. While this is scheduled to be a five issue series, the general idea is full of possibilities. For people who are looking for a bit of Criminal with their Looper, Comeback is the book for them!

Comeback #1 is in stores now.

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