Category: Comic Reviews
Written by James Ferguson
Published on Sunday, 29 December 2013 01:04
"ReincarNATE" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by 5th World Studios
Written by Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Keith Burns
Trade Paperback released on March 2nd, 2013
Being a private detective is a pretty hard job, at least if the numerous books and movies on the profession are to be believed. You never have any money. You don't have any respect from the police force, even though in most cases you used to work with them. And you're always one step away from the most insane case you've ever had. You're just waiting for the right woman to walk through the door.
Nate McCoy has some of these problems and but he's got a few others that your average private eye doesn't. While investigating the disappearance of a young woman, Nate is shot in the head. Fortunately, he's still alive and doesn't have any brain damage. Unless you count the fact that he's seeing a cowboy and a 1960's era government agent. Nate has his previous lives helping him along. This is the setup for ReincarNATE, the Kickstarter-funded comic by Michael Moreci and Keith Burns.
First off, can we talk about how cool the title for this book is? I'm surprised that no one else thought of this before. It's such a good idea. It makes me want to find other words that have names mixed in with them to try to come up with stories about them. Of course, I say this and I can't think of a single one. That's why Moreci writes comics like this and Hoax Hunters and I just read and tell you about them.
Anyway, ReincarNATE is set up like your everyday private eye story but with this unique twist to it. You're instantly on Nate's side. He has a sense of right and wrong that doesn't leave a lot of room for anything in between. He's loyal to his client and will stop at nothing to find this lost girl, as evidenced by the fact that he took a bullet to the head during the case. These past lives follow him around, giving him advice and helping him out when possible. They saw the world in a similar light so they want to help Nate, but they realize that he doesn't have the amount of experience that they do. Between the three of them, there's a damn good detective.
The case itself is a strange one. A young girl goes missing before a big bowling competition. Nate suspects El Panda, the local mobster and bowling pro that immediately brought to mind Jesus from The Big Lebowski. El Panda is also the man responsible for killing Nate's father, so the detective is trying desperately to tie this crime to him, forcing the gangster to finally face justice. Meanwhile, there's corruption on the police force and Nate doesn't know who to trust outside of the people only he can see.
Keith Burns' artwork meshes well with the noir story. His pencils remind me a bit of Eduardo Risso's work on 100 Bullets, specifically with some of the female characters. When Nate's client Nikol is introduced, she opens the door in a skimpy robe that is a spitting image for some of Risso's women. This is not a bad thing at all. Burns plays with the shadows a lot, allowing silhouettes to set the mood. There's also some brilliant art direction throughout ReincarNATE. When El Panda is first seen, his head can be viewed through the trigger guard of a gun held in the foreground. It's a great way to literally frame the mobster who is a major part of Nate's life.
ReincarNATE is a smart, well-written crime noir comic with a supernatural twist. If you like the Hard Case Crime books, this is right up your alley. As with most good detective stories, it ends with the case closed, but leaves it open for more as an ongoing series. It's hard to believe that this was a comic that was rejected from all the major publishers. I'm glad that Moreci and Burns were able to release the book independently.
ReincarNATE can be purchased directly from the creators at Fifth World Studios.
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