By Rick Remender, Sean Gordon Murphy, and Matt Hollingsworth
The title Tokyo Ghost immediately has an awesome ring to it, but when it is connected to comic book talents such as Rick Remender, Sean Gordon Murphy, and Matt Hollingsworth, one knows it’s going to take readers on a journey! When this title was announced over a year ago, it instantly garnered buzz and rightfully so. This premiere issue could almost be considered a one-shot because it seems to be only a sample of this future dystopian society. That’s not to say that there’s no exposition; audiences will be introduced to two main characters: Debbie Decay and Led Dent. They appear to be bounty hunters contracted by the powerful corporation Flak Industries. They have to track down a brutal, nerdy killer to finally be free and leave for Tokyo…
Rick Remender has made it no secret that this series is influenced by Road Warrior, 13 Assassins, and Judge Dredd, but after reading this issue, one might see Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop written all over it. Intentional or not, the plot in this debut story feels like an episode mash-up of the two anime series and it’s a heck of a ride. Using all these influences to comment on our society’s increasing reliance on technology makes for a fascinating amalgam. The plot was fairly straightforward, but there are some heartbreaking, piercing moments detailing this very topic truth.
As Remender guides the audience through this world, the rock star art team of Sean G. Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth set it up. These two have collaborated on previous stellar titles such as The Wake and Chrononauts. Murphy seems uniquely fit to develop this tech-saturated future as his passion for drawing vehicles and machinery shines through. Just look at the detail on Led’s vehicle on the cover; it literally has a graphic that says, “Zeus’ Dick”. That alone, is worth the price point. His longtime colorist partner, Hollingsworth, continues to be in top form as well. He adds extra depth to the world-building of Tokyo Ghost. There are stunning oversized panels sprawling across two pages that readers should absolutely take the time to explore and analyze. There is so much background information and Matt makes sure nothing is lost in translation, so his audience can truly appreciate their work.
Even if this particular issue has a familiar premise, the amount of detail and attention paid to developing this story is incredible. A couple of pages from next month’s installment are previewed in the back matter and they look absolutely gorgeous. It shouldn’t have to be said, but just in case…pick up this book! This looks to be another amazing title in Image’s pantheon.