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‘Lifehacks #1:’ Comic Book Review

Results vs. Procedure

We live a lot of our lives online these days. Just the fact that you’re reading this shows the ease that we now have in sharing and accessing information.  Every connected person contributes thousands, if not millions, of bits a day, and in all that data are patterns, footprints in a digital trail that can be traced, depending on how well you hid it.  This is the basis for Lifehacks.  Set in the present, a computer hacker version of Sherlock Holmes befriends a police detective by leaving clues for cases in the police databases.  Considered a menace and security breach by her boss, Detective Lisa Adams has to use this information source without anyone being the wiser.

Ovi Demetrian Jr. delivers us a procedural Holmesian story, where the will to gather information at the cost of judicial process becomes a quickly evident theme.  Where does justice go when suspects can’t hide behind the law?  There are certainly very bad consequences of this in real life, but, in this book, this becomes the Robin Hood effect: an outlaw looking out for the common good.  The plot is very solid, and the story has great potential to make for very interesting reading.  It fits within that “justice as it ought to be” fantasy realm, where the little laws fall to the side to right the bigger wrongs.  He’s set up an interesting cast here, as Detective Adams seems to trust this unknown benefactor quite implicitly from the go, which may make for some interesting plot turns down the line.

Jen Hickman has an unpolished, but well composed, style throughout the issue.  The character models are all distinct and real-world interesting, and she has a deft touch at using reveals and body language to help sell the story.  The mostly silent panels are my favorite, where only social media boxes enter the action.  The primary storyteller role falls to her, and she handles it fantastically.  Each attack is sudden, brutal, and terrifying in the fact that it comes from nowhere, people going about their day and falling to the serial killer.  The fact that we have no idea what motivates the attacks makes it that much more unsettling.

This is a great first issue for a new series.  There are some tropes on display here, but Demetrian and Hickman seem to use them wisely as jumping-off points to catch us up quickly before putting their own stamp on them, elevating the ideas and moving beyond the stereotypical.  Anyone who wants to see Holmes in the digital age, this one’s for you.

Share the stories that move you.

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor



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