By Michael Moreci, Keith Burns, Chris Beckett

Great first issue!

Comic book readers and fans of noir private detective stories should take note of Heavy Metal’s new title, ReincarNATE, with the first issue debuting at the end of this month. Scribe Michael Moreci (Roche Limit) writes a really clever take on what is otherwise a traditional, even classic, P.I. story. There’s more than meets the eye here, however, and more than what is revealed in the first issue. The familiar P.I. tropes and themes serve as a foundation for a larger story and what may just turn out to be a best of both worlds situation. This might be a slow burn for a first issue, but it’s written well and keeps the reader engaged at the street level, so to speak. There is an original and considered twist to the story that will surely free up the plot to go in a wild direction. It’s a comic book, so anything can happen and still retain a sense of reality. As of this first installment to the series, Moreci seems set and ready to exploit the medium for all of its unlimited potential.

Without giving anything away there’s a dramatic turning point in the story that creates a new level of storytelling, which is interesting and, so far, really entertaining. But it isn’t completely spelled out this first time around, which leads you to believe the details will be given out strategically instead of an overwhelming flood of information. Whether the mystery holds true in future issues or not, one thing is clear, Michael Moreci is writing for dramatic effect with strong characters and deeper plot points. He creates a genuinely believable, well-rounded world and a highly articulate story without giving too much away. You have to appreciate a book that gets you thinking this much after just one issue. Readers will surely be looking forward to issue #2 of ReincarNATE immediately finishing issue #1.

The story is appropriately illustrated by Keith Burns (The Boys) with colors by Chris Beckett (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents) and their collaboration is on-point. Heavy shadows and sharp angles rendered as green skies and magenta lights over a crime scene, are in part what brands the identity of this comic. Burns gives us amazing detail and backgrounds, and there’s never any throw away – everything is where it should be, as it should be, in this unique world. Beckett’s colors help solidify the look with a refreshing degree of originality. You can’t help but feel like an outsider looking in, but you wont want to look away. Every panel is worth reading in this comic, it’s that good.

This is Private Detective Nate McCoy’s story. As protagonists go, there’s no reason not to like this guy and you’ll be rooting for him right off the bat. Nate, as the title may imply, is gonna need support too because he’s up against it. Odds are things are gonna get stranger for this guy in more ways than one, pun intended. Excellent idea for a comic with an excellent team behind it, what’s not to like?


About The Author Matthew Strackbein

Matt Strackbein was born and raised in Maryland but has called Colorado home for the last 17 years where he lives happily in Longmont with his wife. He began reading comic books at the age of seven after discovering a silver age stash in his grandparents’ attic. Comic books inspired Matt to start drawing, which lead to a successful career as a commercial artist. He has worked in the apparel industry for many years as a production artist and designer. His accomplishments include designing backcountry skiwear for world-class athletes as well as downhill ski race suit designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States and Canadian national ski teams. Matt currently works as a freelance textile-print designer, but still dedicates time to his first love – comics. With over 200 letters to the editor published, Matt is a known letterhack. He self-publishes autobiographical comics about his struggles to break into the industry, which finally paid off when Dark Horse asked him to produce 2-page back up stories in recent issues of B.P.R.D. Besides his own comics, Matt collaborates on independent books as a colorist and letterer. He also teaches the art of making comics to students of all ages.