Moments away from retirement, an old detective is pulled back into a case that has haunted him for years. Your Major Spoilers review of The One Hand from Image Comics, awaits!
THE ONE HAND #1
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Laurence Campbell
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 7th, 2024
Previously in The One Hand: Neo Novena detective Ari Nassar is about to retire with an enviable record, until a brutal murder occurs, bearing all the hallmarks of the “One Hand Killer”…which should be impossible, since Ari already put him away not once, but twice in the years before.
HECK OF A GOING AWAY PARTY
The One Hand #1 opens up with Detective Ari Nassar in the middle of his outgoing psychiatric evaluation. He tells the therapist how he ended up as a detective and assures her he’s not the type to kill himself. Back at the station, he makes it through his going away party when he notices his superior trying to sneakily hand a file to another cop. Ari forces her to show him the file and he’s shocked to see that it’s a murder with the M.O. of a killer he’s put away twice. He bullies his way onto the case and he and the other detective go to check out the scene. After investigating, Ari goes to a brothel. While there the woman he’s with suddenly freezes and it’s revealed all the escorts are androids on the fritz. Ari leaves and sees something happening in an alleyway, and his investigation reveals something unexpected.
A NEW TAKE ON A TRIED-AND-TRUE FORMULA
The One Hand #1 is a slick, noir, detective story with an old protagonist just moments away from retirement, with some light sci-fi sprinkles on top. It’s also not really something that hasn’t been seen before. This isn’t something that is shied away from though. The solicitation for this one name drops Blade Runner, Ghost in The Shell, and Black Mirror, and all of their influences are front and center, from a city where it seems to be always raining, to the way that androids and technology blend seamlessly into society. For what it’s worth, these are all portrayed well here. Where this issue really shines through is in the little things that are different from its predecessors of the genre. In particular, the characterization of Ari stood out. He’s definitely weathered and has been through it, and isn’t exactly a cheerful guy, but he’s not shown dwelling on it, he doesn’t come off as tortured or even all that cynical. As for the plot, we don’t get a ton here beyond introducing the main character, some of the elements of the mystery surrounding the murder, and a bit of history, as well as a cliffhanger that feels like it’s supposed to be impactful but honestly comes off as a bit silly.
STYLISH TO A FAULT
There’s no doubt about it, The One Hand #1 has a striking art style. Mixing the deep pools of black that have become standard in crime comics, with bright, almost garish at times, colors. It does a lot of the leg work when it comes to establishing the atmosphere of this issue, but there are times when it comes off as a bit much. Scenes where there’s no reason for things to be obscured somehow are filled with deep impenetrable shadows and it comes off as more muddy than anything.
BOTTOM LINE: AN EASY PICK-UP FOR FANS OF NOIR AND CRIME STORIES
While it doesn’t do anything that would revolutionize the genre and it can be a bit heavy-handed in the ink department, The One Hand #1 was an enjoyable read with tons of atmosphere and style. As long as you’re not expecting a ton of story beyond some foundational elements, this will be a good read for fans of Blade Runner, Ghost in The Shell, and Black Mirror, just like they said. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
The One Hand #1
The One Hand #1 is a solid detective focused crime comic but doesn’t really do anything you haven’t seen before.