Review: “The Last Broadcast” #1

the-last-broadcast-1-cover-by-gabriel-iumazark

Review by – Jorge Solis

A dark and moody thriller, “The Last Broadcast” #1 slowly builds its compelling mystery with puzzling clues. The eerie atmospheric vibe is the first thing readers will notice right off the bat. Because the first installment has done a great job establishing its premise, I cannot wait to see what happens next.
the-last-broadcast-1-cover-by-gabriel-iumazark
WRITTEN BY: Andre Sirangelo
ART BY: Gabriel Iumazark
PUBLISHER: Archaia
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: May 21, 2013

Ivan has just woken up from the hospital, with his face wrapped in bandages, like a mummy. He doesn’t quite remember what happened exactly that led to the explosive. Ella, the nurse, sits next to him, wanting answers about the fiery event. Because Ivan is a magician, could he be playing tricks on the nurse’s mind? Or maybe Ivan isn’t pretending at all and he doesn’t remember anything. Whether Ivan knows or not, there is a masked madman who is willing to kill and keep some dark secrets hidden.

Writer Andre Sirangelo has created an interesting and flawed protagonist for the mystery-driven narrative. I am so happy Sirangelo went for a different portrayal of a magician than a Criss Angel rip-off. We see Ivan struggling to be a stage performer as he does his illusions. The audience wants showmanship, which Ivan cannot offer them. Sirangelo hints that the failed magician is also on drugs, which could explain why his tricks are so lackluster.

In the second subplot. Sirangelo takes readers deep underground San Francisco. Two urban explorers are searching for something hidden below the sewer tunnels. As the explorers continue downwards, the storyline becomes a metaphor for the different levels of Hell. The deeper the explorers go, the more I realize these two are going to have to crawl out of Hell afterwards.

Artist Gabriel Iumazark keeps a dark and claustrophobic vibe when illustrating the underground tunnels. The panels are kept tight and compressed as if you are supposed to feel squeezed into the enclosed space. Notice how there is barely enough space in the panel to fit two people into the same shot. Because there is no electricity underground, Iumazark makes the most of his limited light source.

Though the narrative is supposed to moody, Iumazark throws in the comic relief during Ivan’s magic trick. Everything goes hilariously wrong in the trick, which Iumazark captures in the facial expressions. Iumazark certainly knows how to juggle the comedic and dramatic aspects of each subplot, without exaggerating them.

“The Last Broadcast” #1 keeps readers guessing what happened during the missing events. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next issue.

 
  • Canucklehead

    I read the first issue and agree that the book had a lot going for it. But life’s too short to be reading books where nothing happens but atmosphere, so I’m afraid I’m going to need something to move the story forward and soon.

  • JorgeSolis

    Like TV pilots, I give 3 episodes until I call it quits on a TV show.