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Review – Control #1 (of 6) (Dynamite Entertainment)

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Publisher: Dynamite
Writer: Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank
Art: Andrea Mutti
Release Date: 1st June 2016



Set in a depressed looking Washington DC, Control is a new story of the collective minds of Andy Diggle (The Losers, Green Arrow: Year One) and partner Angela Cruikshank. It’s a police procedural, a format that works extremely well in television, but does it work in a comic? Usually (in comics) there is some sort of supernatural element, or super-powered villain, but Control is steeped in real life. It’s a mix of Police and Political drama in the corrupt backstreets of DC, and yes, it does work as a comic. Very well, in fact.

The story follows Kate Burnham, an aloof female detective. Kate and her partner are called out to an officer shooting and with that are dragged into something much larger. While investigating the incident her partner is shot and killed while she is trying to save the initial victim that the (now dead) officers were checking on. Kate is made lead detective on the investigation, while at the same time has to break in a new partner and deal with some people in her department that blame her for the death of their fellow officer.

Andy and Angela have really set out their stall well here. All the story elements flow into each other, there is nothing clumsy about the story setup here and it really works well. I’ve seen some complaints about lack of (Kate’s) character development in this issue, but to my mind this is deliberate – it’s established that she is very private – and it in no way weakens the story. The dialogue works and I already quite like the dynamic between Kate and her newly assigned partner, Doherty. It’ll be interesting on how this develops.

The art by Andrea Mutti (Rebels, The Returning) and colour by Vladmir Popov couldn’t be more fitting. The story in issue one hints on a few occasions of Political interference and wrongdoing and the depressing and dark backdrops of a Washington DC bathed in a constant deluge of rain really adds to the atmosphere of the story. The linework is deliberate, yet organic and there is a heavy use of block shadow that just ebbs intrigue and secrets, this is coupled with a very limited palette really adds to the sense of darkness in the story.

Issue one of Control is a strong start. The writers have crafted a cold opening with enough hints and intrigue to bring you on board and have you wanting to know what is coming next. That coupled with a style of art so pertinent to the soul of the story could make this mini-series a hidden gem for Dynamite. I just hope it doesn’t get lost launching in the same week as DC’s Rebirth event.

Rating: 4/5.


13043453_10154167818863408_9180033184388957427_nThe writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @Jockdoom.


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