Review – Throwaways #1 (Image Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge
Artist: Steven Sanders
Release Date: 6 July 2016

A ‘Throwaway’, as this first issue kindly informs us from the off, is espionage slang for ‘a disposable asset’ or a ‘disavowed assassin, meant to die alongside their target’. This new thriller from Image and the pens of Kittredge and Sanders, however, aims to also tick the sci-fi box. By the second page of the book, one of the seemingly helpless targets of an unmarked SWAT team psychically flings shards of glass through the air to incapacitate his attackers. Its Bourne meets the X-Men, complete with mystery, dodgy military operations and unexplained powers that leave you with an awful headache.

Issue one introduces us to Abigail Palmer, an ex-Ranger with the US Military, whose day goes sideways after a strange phone call leads her into the path of Dean Logan. Dean has some extraordinary gifts that have brought him to the attention of an unnamed organisation intent on bringing him in; the same organisation that appear intent on putting a bullet in Palmer’s head. Cue the escape antics, and the flying glass.

It’s a well-balanced first issue that neatly traverses the line between scene-setting and information dumping. Palmer is a no-nonsense pragmatist, with baggage aplenty from her days in Afghanistan. Logan is a seemingly docile wise-cracker with a dangerous streak. By the end of the book, writer Caitlin Kittredge has woven enough character nuggets into the fast-paced plot to provide the reader with a real sense of who these people are and what drives them.

An interesting choice is quite how much this first book reveals about the links that may tie them together. One reveal in particular blows in completely from left-field and knocks you sideways with the amount of information we’re provided with upfront. There are still secrets aplenty to uncover, and Kittredge happily leaves us with one of those on the final page, but it’s strange in a series of this type to have such a big reveal at the outset. It’s refreshing, if not a tad surprising at the same time, and it’ll be interesting to see how such an artistic choice impacts on the momentum of the plot as the series progresses.

In a word, the artwork for this book is stark. Steven Sanders uses sharp lines to depict his characters, befitting the gritty tone of the book. The true joy for the reader though are the action sequences, which are fluid and dynamic, adding to the pace already set by Kittredge. At times, it almost feels like the plot is running away from them, so quickly do we jump from scene-to-scene, reveal-to-reveal, but it’s a minor complaint with an otherwise engaging book.

Overall, Throwaways provides a fresh take on well-worn themes. It’s exciting, fast-paced and intriguing. Pick it up; you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 4.5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider.

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