From Image Comics and writer Rick Remender (Black Science), Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus) and Matt Hollingsworth (Wytches) comes the astounding sci-fi series Tokyo Ghost. Here’s my review of issue #3.
The Isles of Los Angeles 2089: Humanity is addicted to technology, a population of unemployed leisure seekers blissfully distracted from toxic contamination, who borrow, steal, and kill to buy their next digital fix. Getting a virtual buzz is the only thing left to live for. It’s the biggest industry, the only industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need their rule enforced? Constables Led Dent and Debbie Decay. This duo is about to be given a job that will force them out of the familiar squalor of Los Angeles to take down the last tech-less country on Earth: The Garden Nation of Tokyo.
Before we get down to it, may I (along with everyone else who has already done so) point out how awesome it is to see Sean Murphy put in a gigantic Lying Cat cameo into issue #3 of Tokyo Ghost. This series has been JAMPACKED with so many cool little details that you literally have to read every single page twice just to let Murphy’s art sink in and give you a chance to catch all of the cool easter eggs. This wasn’t an easter egg – it was a giant freaking Lying Cat cameo from Image Comic series Saga. Awesome.
But let’s get back to it. After arriving in Tokyo, Debbie and Led run into a beautiful woman who is leading the people of this tech-free land and she agrees to let them stay in spite of Led Dent’s outbursts as he starts to suffer from the lack of tech that was controlling him before. Most of this issue really does focus on the man’s struggle to come clean and it’s interesting to see Rick Remender and Murphy play this out like he’s suffering withdrawals from heroin. It shows you just how severe being addicted to technology can get in the future.
Everything seems to be playing out well and the relationship between Led and Debbie is rekindled as he begins to truly overcome his past addictions. Still — their mission is being completely ignored at this point and Debbie has no plans on returning to LA. I don’t see this happiness lasting all that much longer as a mysterious figure has plans to put a stop to it.
Issues one and two were HEAVY on the Bladerunner side of backdrops while issue three really dials up just how detailed Murphy can get when you add vegetation into the mix. Tokyo Ghost is without a doubt the most beautifully drawn comic series of 2015 and issue three is just as stunning as the first two even without having as many complexities in the background. I’m not so sure that story-wise issue #3 was as strong as the first two, but the bar was raised so high at the start that even a magical issue such as this would have trouble stacking up to it. Tokyo Ghost continues to stun me month after month and artist Sean Murphy has quickly become one of my favourites with the amount of work he’s done here.