Rick Remender and Sean Murphy tell the story of a future Los Angeles where everyone is so plugged into their phones and the internet that they barely notice what goes on in the world around them.  On top of that, a ruthless crime kingpin has figured out how to hack into someone’s neural implant in order to make anyone work for him.  And did I mention that he views life as one giant video game, where each new murder and violent act gets him one step closer to his all time high score?  Pretty bleak picture of the future, eh?  Well, fear not, because there are still some people fighting on the side of good.  Constable Debbie Decay, the lone person who is not plugged in, and her ‘roided out boyfriend Led Dent, who is completely plugged into the net, are working to put an end to the string of violence.

Remender’s writing is pretty solid here.  There’s a lot going on, and tons of text boxes and dialogue balloons, but it’s a reflection of the story’s setting, and how everything is so completely distracting.  Speaking of the setting, the dystopian future L.A. with its death races and criminals roaming freely is pretty spectacular to see, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.  Remender creates a world where practically anything goes, and no one really cares so long as they don’t ever become unplugged.  It’s a scathing social commentary of where we could be heading in the not too distant future.  With so much going on at once, I did find certain sections of the issue to be a little difficult to read, but again, it’s all part of the atmosphere that completely immerses you in the story.

Sean Murphy’s art is brilliant.  The city is dark, gritty, and dirty.  Advertisements and TV monitors litter the landscape, making it impossible to get away from some sort of stimulation at any given time.  It’s like an uglier, angrier version of the L.A. from Blade Runner.  Murphy does an amazing job in conveying just how nasty and dangerous this world is, and after reading the first issue, it kind of made me want to take a shower.

All in all, the first issue of Tokyo Ghost didn’t completely knock me off my feet, and I did genuinely feel like parts were hard to read through because of all the text in each panel, but it’s definitely a solid start to what looks like it is going to be a very interesting story.  Previews for issue #2 have me looking forward to checking the rest of this one out.

The Verdict for Tokyo Ghost #1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
Captain America: White #1
1872 #3 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Weirdworld #4 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
RunLoveKill, Volume 1
Crimson Peak (Movie)


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