Samaritan: Veritas #1
Samaritan: Veritas #1 is a followup to The Tithe, an eight-issue 2015 series that’s part of a bigger world Matt Hawkins is building. And you’ll find out about them if you read this first issue, since there are footnotes, that unloved comic-book helper, included. Don’t get me wrong, this works perfectly well as a stand-alone, but there are more stories an interested reader can explore, much the same way the superhero universes used to work. (Hawkins calls it the Edenverse, and you can read some of the issues via links at Matt’s website.)
Our lead character is Samantha, a supreme-class hacker who’s vowed to take down the President, a religious fanatic who’s gained office due to a conspiracy of fake terrorist events. She also wants revenge for her boyfriend’s death. (Which happened in Eden’s Fall, which also included characters from Postal and Think Tank and was also illustrated by Atilio Rojo.) His former partner, an FBI agent, is one of the few people she can still trust, since she’s the subject of a world-wide manhunt.
As you might have gathered, this is a rather timely title. There aren’t many political thrillers in comics, because it’s a tricky subject, likely to annoy as much as it entertains. But here, the bad guy is so unreservedly bad that his role as President is secondary. That allows those who will be entertained by a battle to reveal his evil to wallow in it, while others can just enjoy the thriller action.
It’s also got hints of themes involving Sam’s profession. I found the scenes where she temporarily retired and found an appreciation for art affecting. And I laughed at the scheme for the team aliases, as I too am a geek. The psychology is right, emphasizing the hard work and creativity of hacking.
There are a few preview pages at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided a digital review copy.)