Mysteries continue to be some of my favorite reading and TV viewing. I love trying to figure out what’s really going on, and the best mystery writers can keep me guessing until the very end.
What’s happening in this book is that the creators are ratcheting up the danger quite a bit by doing to mystery what Fox’s Bones does to crime TV: come across the really tough cases. And John Flood has one of my favorite sci-fi concepts involved – he doesn’t need to sleep. I’ve always been fascinated by that possibility!
Previously in JOHN FLOOD: “What’s to Love: Justin Jordan exploded onto the comics scene just four short years ago with The Strange Talent of Luther Strode and caught everyone by surprise. Now he brings us John Flood, a series that combines the metaphysical with the procedural in a way we think is really fresh. Joining him is Jorge Coelho, whose fantastic work on Polarity and Sleepy Hollow made him a BOOM! favorite. Perfect for fans of Desolation Jones and Sherlock Holmes. What It Is: As the result of a government experiment, John Flood no longer needs to sleep, but now he’s in a constant dream state and sometimes can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t. But a side effect is that he sees patterns and makes connections no one else can, which serve him well in his new ‘career’ as a make-shift PI. Together with a burly ex-cop, Flood begins to investigate when he ‘sees’ one man responsible for thousands of unsolved murders, but now he himself has caught the killer’s attention…”
CHANGE OF PERCEPTION
One of the ways mysteries are solved is the ability to detect patterns in behaviors or situations. Not many detectives can step as far back as Mr. Flood can to notice what’s really going on.
Since Flood doesn’t sleep, his constant dream state is both an advantage and a liability. He can see things others can’t, but isn’t always certain just what is really going on and what is taking place in his imagination.
To help him deal with reality, he enlists the aid of Berry, a former cop who is quite literally his opposite. While Flood is almost entirely brain-oriented, Berry is bigger and stronger and lives in the real world. And he’s not afraid to take on physical confrontation when it’s needed, as we see while he’s eating in a small diner. It’s going to take someone very formidable to match or beat Berry.
Of course, every mystery has to have people resembling Star Trek’s “red shirts,” and we come across someone in this issue who isn’t the sharpest tool in the drawer. He gets taken out pretty quickly, and that lets us know the person who does that is quite nasty and will be a challenge for Team Flood.
As usual, Jordan’s plots are strong on character and adept at dealing with drama as well as action. By the end of this debut issue, we know most of the people involved very well, and that helps us get involved in the mystery pretty quickly.
THE ART MATCHES THE STORY PRETTY WELL
One of the things I liked the most about Coehlo’s art is the way Flood’s eyes almost always appear to be close to being shut. That’s a good way to represent his constant dream state. He also dresses very, very casually, something else I’d expect from some pretty much asleep on his feet. Oh, and his hair looks like he just woke up, too!
The drawings are sketchy at points while more cohesive when needed. I particularly liked how faces were portrayed, really showing us the emotions the person is feeling.
I particularly liked the way this book was colored, with outside scenes being blue a lot of the time with inside Flood’s home being largely yellow and orange. That’s also how things look when we peer out through Flood’s eyes, so his world tends to be that way.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Now What?
It’s best to get pulled in to a story, particularly in comics. We need to care about the people as well as be interested as what they’re doing. I found myself engaged on both levels with John Flood.
It’s another great thing to experience when you simply don’t know what’s going to happen next. I also was intrigued by the story, but don’t know what is in store for us next issue. That can be a very different experience for someone who has read comics as long as I have. I treasure it when I come across that!
As always, it’s tough to gauge a miniseries based on the first issue, but I like what I saw in this BOOM! Studios debut. If you enjoy something of a different spin on characters and mysteries, I recommend you pick up this first issue! John Flood pulls my brain in a different direction, something I look forward to happening every issue!
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