Ryder on the Storm #1 Comic Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Story 8.0
Art 8.0
Value 8.0
Total 8.0
Publisher: Radical Comics
Release Date: 6/10/2010 (US)
Reviewer: Troy Mayes

8.0


Ryder on the Storm #1

What happens when you combine a crime noir story with a supernatural story? Well, you get something like Ryder On The Storm the latest mini-series from Radical Publishing. With some impressive books does Ryder meet the high standards Radical have set themselves?  

While the story shows its hand as early as the front cover itís still a thoroughly interesting and slightly twisted one. Ryder is a private investigator in a near future city that has a keen taste for nostalgia. He gets a call from a nightclub singer Katrina Petruska, her playboy boyfriend has killed himself and he told her to call Ryder if anything was happened to him. Ryder takes the case and it turns out to be more than he bargained for. It appears that (SPOILER ALERT) daemons are real living things and Katrinaís boyfriend was trying to expose them. Now Ryder is being pulled into that world and heís not sure heís going to like what he finds.  

If youíve ever read or seen a noir story youíll recognize all the familiar beats. Katrina as the possible femme fatale, Ryder as the private eye (although he has none of your typical vices something else makes him a grey character), the tense relationship between PI and local law and the family that seems to run everything and in almost conspiracy fashion is tied to the PIís case. There are also the shots of the city itself that almost make it a character in the book, an oppressive force taking its toll on everyone. As youíre reading through you notice these things and you think Ďalright, itís a pretty decent noir story but whatís new?í Well, the whole daemon aspect throws a whole new light on everything and actually almost warrants a second reading of the book. All these little things click in your head Ďthatís why he did that or that person acted that wayí and it gives you a fresh way to look at the noir aspects of the story. To me, that is a sign of good writing. It was just a shame that the front cover kind of gave away that aspect and the true nature of Ryder wasnít hidden that well to be a jaw dropping reveal, which it could have been. 

Once again the book features Radicalís high quality artwork that has an almost painted feel. If youíve heard anything about Ryder then youíve probably heard about the big two-page splash page where we see Katrinaís boyfriend dead, from drilling holes in his head. Itís a powerful and impressive spread that sets the serious tone of the book. The art and panel composition continues to play on that noir theme with characters half in shadow half out and thereís a lot of doubling going on with faces spliced together through two panels. Thereís good use of expression in the faces and also the sparse use of sound fx actually makes you feel more in the story. Instead of having a BAM and POW for every punch thereís a careful selection to signify broken bones, gun shots and the almost haunting RRRRing of the drill. The only thing I wasnít a fan of was the design of the daemon and thatís mostly because the document Ryder looks at makes them appear rather epic and gothic but then when we actually meet one heís kind of lame and almost unimaginative in comparison. My expectations had been set pretty high through that document and they just werenít met. I was also under the impression that Ryder managed to graze Monk when he shot at him but he shows no signs of being shot after the event. Minor concerns in an otherwise well drawn and colored book from the Gothic yet futuristic city to the bizarre old and modern technology. 

Ryder on the Storm #1 marks the beginning of what looks to be another impressive mini-series for Radical. The painted artwork is of the highest quality and I canít even begin to explain the fantastic use of color and shading while the mixture of the two genres provides a fresh reading experience for what could have been a standard noir tale. Sure the end lost some of its impact through earlier actions but it was still a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read.






 
 



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