Review – Transference #2 (Black Mask Studios)
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Ron Salas
Release Date: 19th August, 2015
After a strong opening issue, the second installment of Black Mask Studios’ “Spy-Fi” thriller Transference manages – for the most part – to capitalise on its early momentum. While the concept of “weaponised time travel” isn’t exactly new (see: Terminator, The), the idea of slotting it into a spy espionage drama is truly inspired, and opens up all manner of intriguing possibilities.
Unfortunately, the inherent complexity of the storyline hinders the flow here somewhat, with the high-concept premise threatening to overshadow the strong work that’s being done with the characterisation. Colton Moss is the latest in a long line of truly fascinating creations from the mind of Michael Moreci; a deeply troubled protagonist complete with a suitably murky past, but the intertwined and multi-layered nature of the story continually draws focus away from him, in spite of the writer’s repeated attempts to try and keep things simple.
Perhaps its my own hesitance with time travel stories, but the whole ‘Colton’s-reality-has-been-changed-by-someone-going-into-the-past-and-altering-the-timestream-but-he’s-the-only-one-who-knows-because-he’s-effectively-living-in-an-alternate-timeline’ thing is proving a little tough to get my head around. Throw in a mysterious time-traveling terrorist who can leap from body to body and you have yourself a recipe for head-scratching and – in my case – more than a few glazed expressions.
Once again however, it bears mentioning that this is still a terrific looking book, courtesy of the wonderfully cinematic artwork of Ron Salas. While it isn’t unnecessarily details, it has a cleanness and a simplicity to it that keeps the story flowing smoothly throughout. Definitely a good thing, as I honestly don’t think my puny brain could have handled any more distractions in this one. His colour work is also worthy of mention, particularly during the opening scenes which are bathed in a beautiful orange and pink sunset.
Don’t get me wrong folks, this is still a strong offering from Black Mask Studios, and as soon as I can wrap my little head around the premise, I have no doubt that my enjoyment of it will skyrocket. Plus, given Moreci’s track record, this year in particular (#YearofMoreci, yo), my confidence is incredibly high that everything will sort itself out sooner rather than later, and that the key strengths of this series – the main character, the visuals and the dialogue – will be allowed to shine like they truly deserve to.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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