Advance Review: No. 1 with a Bullet #1
by Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman and Steve Wands
No. 1 with a Bullet is the brand-new Image series by the talented creative team of writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona and colourist Jen Hickman, that weave a cyberpunk tale with distinct echoes of Phillip K. Dick updated for the modern era. There’s a lot of things that really stands out about the book as its first issue creates a dynamic, unique world that will no doubt be incredibly fun to revisit to in future issues, especially building on the solid foundations of the first issue.
We are introduced to Nash Huang, a celebrity talk show host assistant to Jad Davis and it does a good job at showing the reader why she’s a character to get behind as it addresses the potential perils of modern day society that comes with the many risks of technology, tackling topical issues in an effective way. As expected there’s exposition to contend with and at times it’s not the easiest to follow, but No.1 with a Bullet is one of those series that looks set to reward long-term readers despite any early problems. At this stage there isn’t any other character anywhere near as memorable or as developed as Nash herself is, but then given that we’re seeing events unfold from her eyes that’s only to be expected. This is only the first issue after all and there’s a lot of room to juggle here, especially when dealing with the introduction of a whole new world and the people who inhabit it.
The setting of the not-too-distant future isn’t too far-fetched as despite its futuristic setting utilises many aspects of technology that are already grounded in reality. It serves as a reminder that people have to be very careful about what they do on the internet nowadays, and rather than just cast the problems addressed here in simple black and white which would have been an easy move, there’s several layers to them meaning that there’s no right or wrong decision and as a result the book is all the more impactful.
The artwork from Jorge Corona & Jen Hickman is top notch stuff. Corona’s disorientating, almost trippy artwork gives the book a unique feel that is only enhanced by Jen Hickman’s brilliant colours. The energetic, chaotic and outlandish feel of the artwork really works in its favour. It may feel jarring at times but this really adds to the whole tone and feel of the book rather than throw readers off, as would normally be the case. The visuals are stylish too, and Corona and Hickman work together with great results, finding a balance that works really well together and doesn’t feel out of place at all.
No. 1 with a Bullet makes an excellent case for why this comic should be on your pull list. It’s smart, inventive and original, and given Image’s stellar track record for giving us some great creator owned content in the past, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be reading this book.
No. 1 with a Bullet is released November 1. 2017.