By Steve Niles (story) and Zid (art)
The Story: In the future, the world is ruled by an oppressive government where imagination, stories, and religion are outlawed. Officer Phillip Khrome is an upstanding servant of the law. But when he gets mixed up in the arrest and death of a religious man, the ghosts of his past come back to haunt him. He begins to question whether his use of deadly force was valid or not.
Meanwhile, a series of grizzly and curious murders have begun to plague the city. When officer Khrome’s life intersects with the next murder he discovers something profound that may put his own life and career in harm’s way.
What’s Good: The potential for an excellent storyline is high. We’ve seen stories similar to this, but Steve Niles puts a nice twist on the genre with the addition of a murder mystery. There’s also some monster/horror elements that could ramp up the intrigue as the series progresses.
Zid’s art is breathtaking. The city these people dwell in is incredibly detailed and the story is easy to follow. With all of the scenes taking place at night, it’d be easy to mask a lot of backdrops with darkness. But Zid doesn’t take the easy route. He makes the inner city come to life with detailed store fronts, while the heavy use of fog gives the city a good sense of character. It’d be easy to go the Blade Runner route with a story like this, but Zid avoids the trappings and creates something that stands on its own and not so post-modern. Did I mention he renders some incredible looking women?
What’s Not So Good: As strong as this first issue may be, it’s still a story we’ve been before many times. Despite my enjoyment, some might be too fatigued with this type of story.
Conclusion: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Steve Niles book and boy, have I missed him. City of Dust’s debut issue does not disappoint. Like many of Radical’s other titles this book echos the near perfect marriage between story and art.
– J. Montes