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‘The Fuse #7:’ Comic Book Review

After a few months off, The Fuse makes a strong return to launch its second arc.  If you’re new to The Fuse, the series – from writer Antony Johnston and artist Justin Greenwood, with Shari Chankhamma providing properly atmospheric colors – is a police procedural on the eponymous space station.  And, it’s not just a good example of its little niche – it’s good crime and good sci-fi.

This issue wastes no time getting back to some world-building, introducing the dubiously legal sport of gridlocking, where anonymous racers in space suits run a course along the station’s vast solar arrays.  Someone turns up dead, of course, and brings Detectives Ristovych and Dietrich to the scene.  Theirs is a classic old-dog/new-guy-in-town partnership, but this issue shows that relationship evolve a little from their first case.  Being the start of a new mystery, this issue is not only a solid continuation for series fans but a good jumping-on point for newcomers to its brand of police work in space.  The action is mostly plot, and most of the important setting details are new whether you are a returning reader or not.  The world expands as Klem and Ralph follow their leads, track down suspects, and ferret out motives.

Greenwood proves capable of rendering both the openness of the Fuse’s exterior and the claustrophobic interior where everyone lives, and everything in between.  The Fuse is a place that contains both cable-ridden crawlspaces and, for the wealthy, suburban streets with houses and lawns that could well be on Earth, but, visually, they fit together somehow.

It is difficult to evaluate a mystery story on its first chapter, of course, because by the nature of the genre it asks more questions than it answers.  This issue provides a good start, though, for another competent procedural on the Fuse.


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