- Posted by Johanna on November 12, 2008 at 7:13 am
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Andrew Cosby and Michael Alan Nelson; art by Greg Scott
- PUBLISHER: Boom! Studios; $15.99 US
With Enigma Cipher, Boom! Studios adds another exciting movie-style thriller to its library.
Writers Andrew Cosby and Michael Alan Nelson tell the story of Casey, a grad student on the run. Her professor claims to have discovered a previously unknown message encrypted by Enigma, the World War II Nazi code machine. He asks the team to come up with a method to break the cipher, which seals their fate. Soon, everyone but Casey is dead, and she’s being chased by mysterious assassins as well as the police.
I was disappointed that so many of the other students were knocked off so soon. (I’m not spoiling anything; this all happens in the first eight pages.) There were some interesting personalities and interactions hinted at. That’s how accomplished the writers are with dialogue, quickly developing their characters so they’re a little more than pure cannon fodder.
Although set at a university, this is not an intellectual story. Early on, there’s a narrow escape in which one shooter asks another, “How the hell did you miss that shot?” The response, “Just shut up and get her!” sums up the chase scene mentality. Just hang on for the ride, and forgive the writers their machinations. You’re rooting for Casey’s survival as she finds herself in an unimagined, impossible situation. There’s a lot of reader involvement, wondering “what would I do in a case like this?” Realism isn’t the point — the rushed double-double-cross ending makes that clear — energy is.
Greg Scott illustrates in a modern noirish mode with elongated faces, as though watching big-screen images projected down to the smaller size of this book. Everything’s slightly gauzy, with the feel of viewing through a voyeur’s lens. The fast-paced action is the final movie element; it’s all quite an adventure. And a quick read, with almost the speed of an American manga, where adrenaline drives the reader onward just to find out what happens next. (A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)