Published on August 5th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
The Fuse #13 Review
Perihelion is the third story in the futuristic police procedural world created by Antony Johnston but don’t worry if you’ve somehow missed the first 12 issues, everything you need to know is contained within this issue, in fact most of it is on the first page. It’s like watching an episode of CSI, it doesn’t matter what series it is, there’s a body and a mystery and that’s all you need to know.
This story starts with a prisoner on the run. Although Joe Rosenhind plays a very small part in this first part, don’t forget him, his escape will relate to the greater story at some point in the run.
The reader is then shown Klementina Ristovych’s early morning routine while at the same time the radio tells us all about Perihelion, the non-stop party of the year. In fact Perihelion infects this issue as the whole of SOLAR-1 gets ready for the annual Mardi Gras style celebrations; some are revellers ready to party, others take a grimmer view on proceedings.
One of the strengths of this series has been Johnston’s characterisation and this issue is no different. Klem takes centre stage as Johnston show us how the detective prepares for her day; alleviates stress and handles distraught people. She is a very strong, well balanced character so the despair that crosses her face when she realises that the murder of the day could actually relate to an ongoing serial killer case illustrates the seriousness of the matter. Ralph isn’t left out this month but he definitely takes a back burner; still being led through his days by Klem.
Amid the chaos of celebration there are some haunting moments and images on display. Justin Greenwood doesn’t pull any punches and the single close up panel of Siobhan Brennan’s eyes (the victim) will stay with you after you put the comic down.
A number of characters are introduced, like the couple on Level 50 and Polo in the Starz Nightclub, and the investigation lays out some clues to Brennan’s murder but this is only the first act so at the moment it’s like a jigsaw still in its box.
The thing that will hit you about The Fuse (that is if you’ve not read the previous issues which I would highly recommend in their collected editions) is the amount of detail that Johnston and Greenwood get into each issue. There are multiply story threads surrounding the central murder investigation and there is a massive scope to Greenwood’s layouts so that it’s difficult to take it all in. Each page requires close inspection especially such panoramas as the two page title spread; any number of those characters could hold an important clue or prove to be pivotal to the investigation.
There’s nothing especially new, genre speaking, in these pages. It is after all just a police procedural set in space, all the elements of that genre are here but it’s the style in which these are presented that makes The Fuse worth reading. Johnston and Greenwood seem to be working from the same page and together are producing one of the tightest scripted comics on the shelves.
Long-time reader or new to The Fuse, this issue will not disappoint.
Title: The Fuse
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Antony Johnston
Artist: Justin Greenwood
Colorist: Shari Chankhamma