Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artwork: Maurizio Rosenzweig, Moreno Dinisio
Release Date: 3rd September, 2015
A boldly ambitious sci-fi action thriller heist series (yes, I’m aware that’s a fairly distinct sub-genre) from writer Fred Van Lente, Resurrectionists was one of three series given the “Digital Exclusive” treatment from Dark Horse Comics earlier this year, along with Ghost Fleet and Sundowners. Thankfully, in spite of inexplicably low sales, we now have the chance to experience the series in printed form, which is definitely something worth celebrating, given how brilliantly conceived and skilfully executed this story is.
The premise here is a fairly complex one, it has to be said; lead character Jericho Way is a member of a group of modern day tomb robbers who have been trying to pull off the same heist for 3,000 years, repeatedly failing only for them to be reincarnated and forced to try again. Here’s the rub though, not only can they remember these past lives, but they can also become them (once they have been “unlocked”, usually through a near-death experience), channelling skills and abilities they once had.
Granted, this is quite a lot to absorb, and it could potentially take a little while for the reader to get their head around everything, but thankfully Van Lente is a writer who knows what he’s doing, and these details are drip-fed gradually, allowing us to ease into this rather fast-moving story. If that sounds like an oxymoron, it probably is, but Van Lente does a fantastic job here of keeping his story whipping along at a blistering pace while letting us slowly catch up with precisely what’s going on.
While we try to stop our head spinning, it certainly doesn’t hurt that the book looks absolutely gorgeous, with Maurizio Rosenzweig and Moreno Dinsio combining to provide a constant stream of bold, larger-than-life characters for us to feast our eyes on. Adopting a slightly caricatured style complete with bulging biceps, rippling six-packs and curvaceous femme fatales, the book is filled with dynamic action set-pieces and overblown facial expressions, giving it a wonderfully exaggerated look without it ever becoming too “cartoony”.
The story is packed with twists and turns, and the ending is ambiguous enough to be satisfying without giving us any real resolution. It could perhaps be seen as a little frustrating, especially knowing that there isn’t going to be a “volume two” down the line, but it still worked for me as a payoff worthy of the complex, intertwining build-up. Overall, while it pulls no punches with the complex, multi-layered nature of its storytelling, Resurrectionists has to be viewed as a truly impressive project from all involved, and this volume provides an enjoyable – if occasionally head-scratching – read.
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You can purchase Resurrectionists: Near Death Experienced from Turnaround Publisher Services (who generously provided the review copy of this title) via their official website.