The Fuse #22
I have this sinking feeling that this storyline, “Constant Orbital Revolutions“, may be the last for The Fuse for a while. (Issue #22 is part four of the arc.) Maybe that’s because it’s unusual for a solid independent comic to plug along these days for more than a couple of years, and this is the fourth volume the series has under its belt. Or maybe it’s because so much of the premise is being severely shaken up in this story, which makes it fascinating. I don’t know where they’ll go after the eventual outcome, but I’m eager to find out.
I found myself surprised by how involved I was with the early scenes, swept up and carried along in what boils down to various cops arguing with each other. That’s a testament to the skill of artist Justin Greenwood and writer Antony Johnston. The viewpoints change, the art stays vibrant, and the dialogue snaps, reminding the reader of the stakes at hand.
Retiring detective Klem has found that her partner Dietrich has been arrested for his involvement with a liberation front group. Various sets of authorities argue about how to handle a cop being mixed up with a terrorist group they consider a threat to the security of the space station.
Since this is a procedural in space, much of what happens this issue is talking, but I didn’t realize that until my second time through. Dietrich’s arrest is tied into an earlier murder they’re still trying to solve, another front member who was worried about a traitor in the group. Everyone’s high-strung, particularly the normally unflappable Klem, whose son may be one of the group’s targets.
As the opening notes say, this is not the place to start reading. Get one of the collections, or at least start with #19. But I did want to point out how nice an example this is of making debates visually interesting, because they’ve set up a unique environment with distinctive characters and carried the implications through in both voices and attitudes. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)