By Jarrod Jones. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. This week: ‘Survival Fetish’ #1.
Black Mask Studios/$3.99
Written by Patrick Kindlon.
Art by Antonio Fuso.
Letters by Jim Campbell.
One of the more clever things about Survival Fetish is that it lets everyone know precisely what kind of comic book it is at first glance. It has zero time to play it vague and understands that you don’t, too. On its cover, an already striking image of a man leaping between barrels of sniper rifles against a sea of crimson, is a quick paragraph selling the premise behind the book. Four sentences, short, to the point. It begins: “Saheer runs for a living. Diamond Head to Downtown, through a sniper alley that stretches the length of Honolulu…” and ends with its hook: “… careers dodging bullets have high turnover rates, and Saheer tempts fate every time he laces his sneakers.” You already want to turn the page before you’ve even cracked its cover. It’s tantalizing. A movie poster push from inside your LCS. I love it.
Survival Fetish is a book about movement. Staying ahead of everything. Life, love, the other guy. Expiration. We already know what Saheer does, and between his flights over rooftops, we learn a bit about his spirit. A fleet-footed philosopher who moves because inertia is death. But Saheer isn’t just running just because people need medicine, or information, and he isn’t leaping across concrete canyons to stymie the local sniper gangs and the trigger-happy militia. Saheer is running from his past. He’s running from the truth. About himself, about his life. Saheer is running because he’s terrified of what’s waiting for him when he stops.
Kindlon, who wrote one of my favorite mini-series last year, taps into a well of energy and keeps the flow at a pitch. His caption work keeps Campbell on his toes, placing Saheer’s thoughts almost ahead of us amidst the gorgeously structured panel work by Fuso. The book is kept in sparse black and whites, a bit a of grey seeping in here and there, which allows the captions to pop. You’re left breathless once the first eight pages have ended, as though you were running alongside Saheer yourself. It’s an exhilarating feeling.
And that brings us to the work of Antonio Fuso. I remember his work from IDW’s 2015 mini Dr1ve, and you should too. With Survival Fetish, Fuso runs out ahead, kicking out a debut issue imbued with character, momentum, and life. You can almost hear his characters’ hearts beat, whether they’re running between bullets, dodging a nagging memory, or going fucking crazy over their hot new crush. Fuso’s work is youthful in that regard, but there’s a bit of math in there — Survival Fetish is the ticks of the clock, the speed that allows Saheer to hurtle through the panels. See if your eyes can keep up. Because one false move, and… well, you know.
9.5 out of 10
From earlier this week —
What books did YOU read this week? We want to know! Make it short and sweet — the best response wins a free set of DoomRocket stickers!