What does a man do that cannot sleep? Ever. What if that man were perhaps one of the good guys. And, by having his ability to sleep taken away, two things were to happen: first, he entered into a constant dream state in which reality and fiction became a little jumbled; and second, he was able to see patterns that went unseen by the rest of the world. There, you are introduced directly to John Flood on the first page of Justin Jordan’s first issue.
Justin Jordan was an integral part of Valiant Comics’ reintroduction to the world, having worked on Archer and Armstrong, X-O Manowar, and Harbinger – all excellent comic books that I’ve only just started digging into.
With Jordan’s work fresh on my brain, I was excited to enter into another one of his worlds. Aside from a potentially interesting character concept, it’s hard to tell exactly how good the book is just yet.
After John Flood introduces himself to us, he lays out a foreboding prophecy that things are going to get worse, and, for a moment, we may get a glimpse through his eyes – an inferno with bodies pin-cushioned by spears. Real or not? I don’t know. And, that’s the question we ask ourselves and perhaps are meant to ask ourselves as we progress – how much of this will be real? It’s an interesting layer of storytelling to keep in mind that I hope Jordan will take full advantage of moving forward.
But, it’s not all about John Flood – it’s about his possible new assistant, who after being introduced to John Flood, we are then introduced to this mysterious man, Alexander Berry, another do-gooder that spends his evenings at the same diner. Film noir fodder, folks!
But, it’s not just about Berry possibly becoming Flood’s new assistant. It’s about what Berry will be doing for Flood, which is to find physical evidence of the patterns Flood can see.
There are so many interesting ideas that it would be easy to say that this book is pretty darn good, but let’s pause for a moment as ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s the execution that matters, and the execution here is fine. Jordan has spent a lot of time on the big picture, but the moment to moment is good, but so far nothing I haven’t seen before. I’ve seen the eccentric, bordering on crazy detective bringing in a new recruit scenario. And, what Jordan doesn’t do is give me a reason (yet) to fully commit to this specific scenario. The subject of their proof finding is teased to us, but not in a way that resonates (yet). I’d almost have rather not been shown these glimpses and been left wondering, as Berry is, just how crazy John Flood actually is.
But, I’m curious about the long game Jordan could be playing, so I’ll come back for more.
The art by Jorge Coelho and colors by Tamra Bonvillain are on par with BOOM!’s level of excellence, and with BOOM!’s editorial excellence, I have faith that this book has got legs.