The Fuse #17
I haven’t talked about this science fiction mystery series in a while, because once the situation was established, the middle issues just made it all more interestingly complicated. But I wanted to make sure to check in on The Fuse #17 as we work towards the solution to all the crimes taking place during the satellite version of Mardi Gras. I was pleasantly surprised to see how effective this “part 5 of 6” was on its own.
As established at the beginning of the story in issue #13, Perihelion combines an all-day party with crazy behavior, as the Fuse orbits closest to the sun. There was an asteroid shower this year, which resulted in intermittent power outages. A dead body was found after the crowds dispersed, a wealthy banker with a secret. A serial killer is hunting a new victim during all this chaos. And a gunman has taken over the hospital, murdering several and taking hostages, where an older mobster is seeking treatment.
As this issue opens, we find out what the gunman wants, since he’s been demanding media coverage, while experienced detective Klem sneaks up on him. Meanwhile, another hostage-taker is a food plant worker who’s convinced the factory output is poisoned and is stabbing his coworkers.
Writer Antony Johnston does a terrific job sketching out these characters succinctly, making them more than plot devices by giving them different voices. Artist Justin Greenwood similarly illustrates a variety of people and body types and actions and attitudes. It’s a great partnership. Particularly since they never forget these characters are on a satellite, working in future world touches throughout the standoffs, whether it’s a change in police procedure due to the nature of the environment or the way the culture has developed.
There’s plenty of action in this installment, leading up to the conclusion of the longer-term mysteries next time. The Perihelion storyline concludes in the next issue, #18, due out March 2. Or if you want to read the whole thing, The Fuse: Perihelion collection is available April 27 in comic stores, May 3 in bookstores. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)