by Justin Jordan, Ariela Kristantina & Ben Wilsonham
If there is anyone who has been consistently putting out quality series that go under a lot of people’s radar, it’s BOOM! Studios. Whenever they debut a new series, it’s usually a smart decision to jump on early. Deep State debuts this week and even though BOOM! has been running ads for the series, it felt like going into Deep State you had no idea what was in store.
The set up may feel kind of formulaic. Young female detective is recruited by a veteran agent into an underground agency that handles all of the government’s top-secret cases. Yet, Jordan puts his own spin on it and makes Deep State feel like its own distinctive story. It feels like writer Justin Jordan stepped outside of the box on Deep State. Usually his stories have an abrasive tone and are usually pretty violent but Deep State shows us a more subtle Jordan. Even if the initial premise of rookie female and veteran male “men in black” partnered together to handle mysterious cases is nothing groundbreaking, Jordan still makes Deep State feel like a fresh read.
Where Jordan’s story may be toned down on grittiness, Ariela Kristantina’s art brings a strikingly rough vibe. Kristantina’s artistic approach to Deep State is definitely unique. Colorist Ben Wilsonham, balanced out Kristantina’s bold tones with plenty of bright colors. Because of this, Deep State‘s art team compliments each other quite well and set the tone of the story. Light lines, dark messy inks, vibrant colors, and plenty of delicate details: the art was honestly the star of this first issue of Deep State.
This issue was a great start but it leaves the reader wanting more. Deep State‘s debut was easy to follow and enjoyable to read, but it didn’t feel like there was enough there for it to sink its hooks in. However, it is unfair to always expect first issues to blow your mind right off the bat. Some stories, like Deep State, are more restrained and need time and space to evolve into a greater beast then what it once was.