I follow a lot of characters in comics, like Batman, for example. But I also follow a lot of creators as well. And three of the creators I enjoy keeping up with are Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Amanda Conner.
This isn’t always easy because their excellent product often comes from a variety of different comics companies, such as what I refer to as the Harleyverse in DC and Super Zero from Aftershock Comics. This means I have to be on the lookout for their books as I examine upcoming books.
A particularly good one is Delete, which comes from Devil’s Due/1First Comics, which recently also released Badger #1 from Mike Baron and company. Just like Mr. Baron’s book, this title is somewhat unique in its storytelling, but it contains the powerful characterization Gray, Palmiotti and Conner are terrific at.
Previously in DELETE: In the near future, where science can implant or remove human memories and the government uses brain scan technology in criminal investigations, a mute girl witnesses a multiple murder and must turn to a handyman for protection from the police and an army of killers.
THE BOOK’S FASCINATING PREMISE
On the comic’s inner cover is some background regarding what’s going on. Here it is: “If we erase our memories, do we erase ourselves in the process? In a future where technology can implant or remove human memories, and police use brain scan technology in criminal investigations, a mute girl must turn to an intellectually disabled handyman for protection after her parents are brutally murdered. On the run from an army of hit men who will stop at nothing to kill them, it is revealed that the girl is carrying implanted memories that threaten to expose a conspiracy.”
What makes this comic stand out from others is its choice of leading characters. Kalina, the young girl, cannot hear, and Spencer is considered to be lacking some mental acuity. Now, anyone else in these circumstances would be in deep trouble, but two people who are clearly NOT superheroes automatically pull on the heartstrings. Not only that, Spencer doesn’t understand sign language, so they’re at a serious disadvantage. And they have to make their escape during a serious snowfall. We WANT them to survive this terrible situation.
Of course, things don’t go right from the start. The parents think they’re getting away with apparently blackmailing a man of influence when they discover they’re found out, and soldiers break into their apartment on what they thought would be their last night in the country.
Needless to say, Mom and Dad don’t make it out of the attack, but Spencer agrees to take care of Kalina, and the two attempt to disappear into the night.
During her escape, Kalina receives memories that are of value to the bad guys, something the police, who have advanced mind technology at their disposal, find out.
There are two detectives on the case – Drexler and Klein – and they couldn’t be more different. Drexler seems to genuinely want to bring the girl to safety, but Klein seems more interested in cleaning up the mess no matter what it takes. He apparently works for the main man we see early in the story. But we’ll see about that.
The pacing is quick, and the story moves along rapidly. There’s a big surprise when a pair of street cops attempts to TASE Spencer. Thankfully, he’s better at some things than I expected, which I enjoyed. I cheered at that part, actually!
GREAT COVER, INTERIOR ART
Of course, Ms. Conner delivers on a strong cover. She always does.
I always love it when the cover artist provides the interior art. I realize that can’t always happen, and in this book, Timms does a great job on expressions and action sequences particularly.
I also really liked the colors in this title. They’re bright and shiny when they should be, but turn much darker when the story demands it. I liked it a lot!
THE BOTTOM LINE: A GRIPPING DEBUT
You know, whenever there’s mind tampering or implanting involved, I wonder if everything that’s happened after that is just a dream or a fantasy implanted in that person’s mind. I hope that’s not the case in this series. I doubt it, but it does make me question what’s going on, and that’s a good thing.
Another thing about mind changes is that perhaps the girl’s deafness and the guy’s mental slowness might be altered by this technology moving forward. That would certainly help, and we might see the characters grow as a result.
Regardless, this action-adventure crime drama has me hooked with the first issue. I was genuinely disappointed when I reached the last page. I wanted more, of course!
If your local comics shop doesn’t have any copies of this initial issue, I recommend you ask them to request more. If that doesn’t work, go to comixology.com and download it digitally. There’s still some time before the second issue arrives, so now’s the time to jump on board!
Delete will make you care about the characters, and bring you to the edge of your seat, pulling for them all the way. What’s going to happen? I have no idea, so I have to keep reading this top-notch comic. It’s what I hope for when I open up a comic, so I highly recommend it!