A Chicago police detective discovers a secret conspiracy right under the nose of everyone: people are living on this Earth who don’t belong. That same detective sees what no one else can, that there is a group out there trying to send those not of this dimension back to their correct world. As we find out, Chicago Police Detective Nate McCallister may be part of the solution as well as the problem as well.
Writer: Michael Dolce, Talent Caldwell
Artist: Tony Moy, Jorge Cortes
Cover Artist: Talent Caldwell
Publisher: Zenoscope Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Previously in THE MAINSTREAM: Scientist Franklin Hodge murdered by a madman, his body butchered and his face eaten away. In the aftermath were introduced to Chicago Police Detective Nate McCallister and his partner, Detective Combs. It becomes clear rather quickly that Nate has the special ability to sense and see things not originally of his Earth, or his Earth’s dimension. Later, the murderer has cleaned himself up and bears a striking resemblance to the very man he murder. While conducting the investigation, Nate sees something that he cannot explain and apprehends a suspect, seemingly out of nowhere.
BREAK DOWN, SHAKEDOWN… HONEY
This issue begins not long after the events of the previous issue, and we find Detective McCallister interrogating his prisoner in a Chicago Police Station. The mysterious red-head woman, who we find out later is an operative with the interdimensional force known as The Keepers, is not responding to questions, and is adding to the mystery surrounding the murder. Luckily, her team is watching through a high-tech, inter-dimensional monitoring system that hacked through a back door… yea, they probably just reversed the polarity of the neutron flow. The inter-dimensional eavesdroppers seem to know as little about Detective McCallister as we do.
Meanwhile, the murderer Franklin Hodge has summoned friends, one of whom is an other-dimensional version of Detective Combs. It seems that some catastrophe has overtaken their world and they plan to make their way to this one by any means necessary. And what about Detective McCallister, who seems to be a Variant that no one can explain? Just as big a mystery is the jigsaw puzzle piece McCallister wears around his neck, as it becomes as much of interest to The Keeper team as the detective. By the end of the issue, McCallister proves that he is an unknown quantity and makes what may be a huge mistake.
AN INTERDIMENSIONAL POLICE STORY
Michael Dolce (The Sire, Descendant) and Talent Caldwell (Killian’s Tide, Gen13) are writing a story that tries to dig its roots in the finest tradition of speculative fiction. A high-science problem (invaders from another dimension), a mysterious hero (what powers does he hold), and a special team of operatives (of the inter-dimensional variety) are all combined into a concept which calls back to popular pop properties such as Sliders and various episodes of Star Trek The Original Series. Unfortunately, some of the same things that make it feel familiar are the same things that make it feel thin. That said, it still reads well and holds some intrigue.
The art team of Tony Moy and Jorge Cortes put a unique face on the story. However, it is a little off-putting going from Talent Caldwell’s clean, precise cover to the thicker and heavy lines of Tony Moy. I would have like to have seen Moy and Cortes version of the cover image, if for no other reason than to provide a visual continuity for the reader. That said, Moy is a talent in his own right, and with Jorge Cortes’ colors, he gives the story a gritty feel that sets it apart.
BOTTOM LINE: DEPENDS ON YOUR TASTE
I almost passed on this title. To be honest, the cover art by Talent Caldwell is what drew me in, and I later became interested in the storyline.
With that in mind, I am glad I picked this book up. Starting at the cover and continuing with the story and interior artwork, it was not what I expected. This is good light sci-fi and I hope that my review may help someone who is on the fence consider trying it. THE MAINSTREAM is the beginning of a solid story, but it may be a little soon to call it great. You get a thin feel for the players in general, and the world seems much smaller than it should with such a multi-dimensional storyline. I hope that, as we progress through the remaining issues, we get a feel for that larger scope.