"Indoctrination #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Z2 Comics
Written by Michael Moreci
Illustrated by Matt Battaglia
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2016, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 29th, 2016
There is something about death that fascinates us. There's a reason why it's the center of so many procedural television shows, from Law & Order to CSI and everything in between. A death is what we see in the very first pages of Indoctrination, and it's an unusual one. A man kneels naked in a field in Odessa, Texas, with his arms and legs tied together. Two FBI agents and the local sheriff stand above him. This is not the first body they've seen displayed in such a manner.
That's the way Indoctrination starts and it only gets more intriguing from there. Writer Michael Moreci lays the groundwork for what is poised to be a riveting story with a handful of key players spread out across the country. At its center is a serial killer who is more than just a man. There's something supernatural about him and his actions. The brief glimpse we get of him is so creepy. Artist Matt Battaglia builds to a full-page spread of this man standing powerfully with strange elements swirling around him.
|Click images to enlarge|
Battaglia's art direction works to help set the mood of Indoctrination. He uses several smaller panels to tell the story, each focused on a specific element, such as a hand or eyes. It's almost how you might scan a room when you first enter it, taking a moment to identify the people and things around you. It gives the book a more intimate quality. At times he won't use the full page, forcing you to center even more on these smaller and smaller panels with these key highlights.
The character details are a bit rough around the edges and this works with the story and what little we know about them so far. This is not the flashy detective show. These are the down and dirty cases that no one wants to talk about, let alone touch. The colors reinforce that, bringing darkness to the artwork, almost like a cloud has moved over the lives of these characters.
It's easy to make a comparison to True Detective with this opening issue. It definitely has that same look and feel, albeit with a potential supernatural angle. This is certainly not a bad thing. Moreci writes smart comics and this is no different. This is a solid first chapter in that it introduces you to all the players and sets in motion events that will bring them into a collision course you can't look away from. The tagline for Indoctrination is “How do you kill an idea?” which is such an intriguing concept that I can't wait to see played out.