Review – Absalom: Under A False Flag (2000AD)

Publisher: 2000AD
Writer: Gordon Rennie
Artist: Tiernen Trevallion
Release Date: 13th July 2017

Imagine Hellblazer mixed with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen through the lens of a very British police procedural and you’re pretty much in the post code of where Harry Absalom walks. The ageing supernatural cop, riddled with cancer and too many bad memories is charged with hunting demons and demon hunters to keep the balance of The Accord while trying to find his grandchildren – who are being held hostage by infernal powers to keep him in line – on the side.

This middle collection in Absalom’s tale sees him assembling his team to finally go and rescue his grandchildren, with a ‘monster of the week’ type plot in each issue being held together by the larger arc. The writing is sharp and characterful and the artwork evokes both the grim mundanity of modern life and the supernatural horror that Absalom and co. encounter to excellent effect.

Rennie conjures some memorable characters, especially in the grizzled and cynical Absalom, world-weary yet full of sarcastic and dated pop culture quips. The supporting cast is well fleshed out with plenty of room for further development, including the duplicitous DI Hopkins, Absalom’s former Guv’nor, and the young demon killer, Daniel. Their interactions seem natural and each line serves to develop either the plot, the characters or to further flesh out the world, meaning that the reader is drawn into the story and the setting without ever feeling forced.

Trevallion’s artwork is a joy and compliments the writing beautifully, managing to do more with a monochrome scheme than many artists do in full colour. The washed out palette evokes a morally grey world, with Absalom showing every one of his years in each frame he’s in. The wide variety of supernatural creatures are rendered beautifully and whether they are ghost children, demons hiding behind the smiles of the wealthy or massive bug-eyed monstrosities, each is a distinct and fleshed-out creature that has clearly been fully thought out, rather than just copied by rote from a monster handbook.

Absalom: Under A False Flag is grim, relatable and compelling and I can’t wait to see how Harry’s story plays out in the promised final third of the tale.

Rating: 5/5.

Absalom: Under A False Flag is available in print from book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond, and in digital from the 2000 AD webshop2000 AD iPad app2000 AD Android app, and the 2000 AD Windows 10 app.

The writer of this piece was: Christopher Napier
Christopher Tweets from @chriscrowing

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