S—t, allow me to introduce Fan.
With Flak gone and Davey running the show, we return to the prize jewel of the mighty, bloated, and downward-sliding empire, NeoTokyo. Having reduced its natural splendor to a glaring, glittering nightmare, the march of the technology has finally covered the world. With her loss recent in her mind and her body dealing with the fallout of that encounter, as well, it’s time for all the chips to be laid out in this penultimate issue.
Rick Remender has a wonderful grasp on his world. His use of trope material in new and interesting ways is superb, and when those moments can’t be graced with his personal touch of genius, he undercuts the ridiculousness of it by allowing it to be lampooned on the page immediately. This isn’t done in a self-depreciating way. I feel that it more enlivens the reader and makes a meta play at some significantly inside jokes. Davey is surely based on the Man Who Laughs, but with bigger ego and a fuel for sociopathic lust that makes incredible sense given the atmosphere that he has been given. There’s a section within this issue where he chats with some pretty well-recognized figures of a decidedly dastardly sort, and it leaves the mind reeling with the possibilities as he lays out his plan for the world. Much like the Batman, Debbie is going to be defined as a character as much as by her villain as anything else, and though she is a great lead, Davey’s machinations really steal the show this issue.
Sean Murphy has been on fire throughout this series, and each issue brings us more amazing moments that truly elevate this book to something greater than its content. Murphy’s world feels like what would have happened if Samurai Jack had been produced by MTV in the ’90s (thinking Aeon Flux). It’s tech versus soul in an all-out war, including the damaged people that have been caught in this particular meat crusher. The little mind trip that Davey takes that I had mentioned above is one of the places where the art begins to take over the story, and it leads us to some panels that are absolutely mind-boggling in their conception and execution. The final few pages make the story come alive and ramp the action just ahead of the finale, and I can’t wait to see it.
This team has made a smart, funny, and dangerously satirical take on our world, and it’s a story where everyone can truly identify with some aspect of it. The final issue is coming, and I like knowing that there’s enough of a chance that Debbie will fail and we might get a dark ending, but with these two at the helm, I’m sure the finale will be much more interesting than anything I can think of.
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