Review: “The Fuse” #4

Review by – Bree Ogden

“The Fuse” continues to impress me with its quick-witted, expeditious, and hugely digestible sci-fi crime plot. Johnston tangles up relevant social issues and seedy entertainment to create a nearly perfect 4th installment in this dirty sci-fi drama.
The-Fuse-4-Cover
WRITTEN BY: Antony Johnston

ART BY: Justin Greenwood

PUBLISHER: Image

PRICE: $3.50

RELEASE: May 28, 2014

The truly impressive aspect of this comic is the fact that in one issue, not a lot technically happens, but still I’m flipping the pages almost faster than my mind can digest them simply because I cannot wait to see what’s next. For the most part, Ristovych and Dietrich are just pounding pavement, continuing to uncover secrets and lies in their quest to solve the double Cabler murder from issue one. Only a few days have passed in the course of four issues, but the depth at which the characters and plots are explored is remarkable.

Nearly every character has a secret that is investigated in this issue. It’s a weighty issue for emotional exploration. Birch is the center of investigation while the other exterior characters keep the pacing brisk. We meet Ristovych’s son who may or may not be involved in some dirty politics and we’re allowed a closer peek into the office of the mayor and his dysfunctional crew. The balance between main and supporting characters is impeccable. Their individual stories are woven together in a way that makes sense without feeling convenient or obvious.

The clarity that is afforded us as we delve into the unfamiliar world of “The Fuse” is exceedingly generous. I’m constantly inspired by the deftness in which Johnston delivers us into his scenes. He is dealing with a deck of difficult cards: science fiction, cop procedural… these aren’t easily palatable, but he’s dealt them out with remarkable agility.

While I admit, there was a split second of heavy-handedness, a moment where I felt the “secrets revealed” where a tad soap opera-ish, it only lasted a mere minute before it either faded into the continuity or felt justified by the plot, I’m not sure what happened but it worked either way.

For the first time in a long time, possibly ever, I really appreciate the lack of detail in the art. I crave the simplicity. With the plot moving at an impossible speed, detailed, intricate art would slow the pace, completely changing the dynamic of the story. I’m not sure if this was a purposeful decision on the part of Greenwood or a happy mistake but I’m grateful for it. It’s one of the reasons this comic rates so high for me each month.

Official Score

  • Replicant Jason Booth

    I’ve been glued to it as well. The writing is so well done and the world is very believable even with its Sci Fi trappings.