Detective Torres has been assigned the job of investigating a brutal strangulation/murder which takes place on the Boston subway. Yusef is a homeless man who is harboring a strange secret. When their paths cross, does anyone know what will occur? LAST STOP ON THE RED LINE #1 is out May 15th from Dark Horse Comics.
Writer: Paul Maybury
Artist: Sam Lotfi
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Adam Pruett
Cover: Sam Lotfi
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Last Stop On The Red Line: A murder in a subway car leads to a meeting of people from very different walks of life. A police detective with a good heart, a homeless man who hears voices and sees things, and a mysterious killer are all set to collide.
HIDING IN SHADOWS, WHERE WE DON’T BELONG
A young group of friends is making their way home on the subway in the company of a stranger. As they arrive at their stop and prepare to disembark, two of them turn to the third and ask her to get off with them so they can walk her home. It is an offer met with violence as the third girl strikes out at them. Finding herself alone in the subway car, she notices what looks to be a homeless person is the only other one with her. As the conductor calls out the last stop, the car goes dark and the homeless person turns out to be much, much more.
Elsewhere, the homeless man Yusef, dreams of sinking into the maw of a monster and he awakens on the grass, just as the rain begins to fall.
But Detective Torres has just arrived at the scene of the crime. She is working to investigate the murder of the woman on the subway. Reporting to her superiors, she tells them there is not much to go on. The violence of the strangulation nearly severed the victims head from her body, and security cameras caught little more than a blur of a vagrant on the footage. She is told that she will have a partner on this case, despite her protest. Putting that out of her mind for now, she has other things to attend.
It seems that a chance encounter between her young daughter, Beatriz, and Yusef, the homeless man, has put Detective Torres in his debt. He did a great deed for the young girl, and Detective Migdalia Torres wants to pay him back. While at first reluctant, Torres insists and Yusef finally relents.
While we learn a little of Detective Torres and her home life, was also learn something of the man named Yusef, his friends at the shelter, and a glimpse of the things he sees and hears. It Yusef crazy? Do his visions and dreams connect with the subway murderer? What is the dark evil which preys on the solitary subway riders below Boston? How are they all connected?
LIVING IN DARKNESS, TO HIDE OUR WRONGS
The Last Stop On The Red Line is the brainchild of writer Paul Maybury (Catalyst, Sovereign). It presents us with a cast of characters and a murder mystery that is much more than it seems on the surface. His writing is sharp and enjoyable and his characters are so interesting as to draw you into quickly. The story itself seems to be a deeply woven murder mystery with shades of Lovecraft, and it has a beat of its own. Unfortunately, there is a disconnect in the way the story is relayed. It took me a couple of reads to gather up what I think is the sequence of events and the purpose of the cast. A first, casual reading left this reviewer with questions, some of which were answered on a second read, but not all. If it could be contributed to the mysterious nature of the story I could understand, but there seems to be some information left out. That said, the story draws you in and you want to read it a second time, if for no other purpose than the writing is so hypnotic.
Another reason to give the title a second, or more, read is the artwork by Sam Lotfi (Public Relations, Painkiller Jane) and John Rauch (Invincible, Batman: Arkham Knight). Lotfi’s style in this issue has a heavy feel of some of the great European artist, and this arty would fit right into a particular monthly magazine that we all know. Maybe it’s the blue raincoat/duster which Ysuef wears, but there is a visual memory where that calls back to some wonderful works that sparked my imagination. Facial expressions, panel layout, creature design, it all is top notch. His people look like people should. The color by John Rauch is just off the scale. It literally seems to glow with an otherworldly light, and even when there is nothing supernatural present it gives of a vivid and expressive feel that just brings the whole package to another level.
BOTTOM LINE: HAUNTING
Yes, I think there are a few narrative hiccups in this first issue of THE LAST STOP ON THE RED LINE, but the overall product is good enough that I can deal with it. It may very well be one of those titles which reads even better once you get additional issues on the shelves. As it stands, it is a mystifying story that draws you in and makes you want to read it with the lights on and the doors locked. I look forward to more.
THE LAST STOP ON THE RED LINE #1 gives us a mystery steeped in otherworldly horror and moving characters. Don’t miss out.
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The Last Stop on the Red Line #1
A dark mystery that will have you aching for more while at the same time filling you with titillating dread.