Itâ€™s been over a decade since readers got a peek at William Shatnerâ€™s Tek War in comic book form, and now Bluewater Productions has resurrected the series into something that is both new and familiar.
When I first read about Tek War being reintroduced, it kept popping up from the back of my mind that I had read the series at some point in the past, and that this was either going to be an updated telling of that series, or a sequel to the original.Â After reading the first issue, I can say it is more of a reboot than anything else.
The world of Tek War finds a new kind of highly addictive and illegal drug wrecking a lot of people, and former police detective Jake Cardigan is no exception.Â Locked up in suspended animation for four years, Cardigan gets an early parole from the penal system.Â It is hinted that his release has connections to a very Shatner-esque looking Mr. Bascom, who hires Cardigan to search for a missing robotics doctor.
The plot is similar to the 1992 TekWorld series, but it is so much better.Â I happened to flip through the previous series, and the dialogue and character development smack of the problem with the comics being released during the time period.Â Fortunately, the Tek War Chronicles doesnâ€™t suffer from those stumbles, and reintroduces the character in a way that seems to be more fitting for the times.
I particularly like how Shatner and Scott Davis update the universe to reflect many of the current thoughts on the direction technology is moving toward.Â Things like space elevators, touch screens, and even a different approach to flying cars sits much better with me today than the grossly off-target view of yesteryear.
Tek War Chronicles also features a very different Jake Cardigan who spends a lot of time reflecting on the events that landed him in prison, and what looks to be an ongoing addiction with Tek and tracking down the whereabouts of his wife.Â The character seems more fully developed here, but never having read the TekWar novels, I canâ€™t say if this series if reflective of the original source, but I like it nonetheless.Â There are a few moments in the issue that seem to have slipped past the editor, and I had to flip through the issue a couple of times to see if I was mistaken, or if the first reference to Kittridge was actually missing from the issue.Â It’s an odd moment when it happens, and brings the issue down slightly, but overall, the story moves along with few road bumps.
The art is nice as well, sometimes looking a lot like something one might find in a manga series, and other times looking like something lifted from an animated frame of a movie.Â Erich Owen does a terrific job of making Los Angeles look like a dirty rotten sink hole, yet still dropping in recognized landmarks so readers know this is not some totally made up location.Â The hook of this first issue is great, and it will certainly drive desire to read the next several issues.
Those looking for a noir future cyber story have a lot of options ranging from Philip K. Dick to Neal Stephenson and William Gibson, but if you are looking for that genre in comic book form, The Tek War Chronicles is a great option, earning 4 out of 5 Stars.