Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: David O’Sullivan
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Release Date: 4th April 2018
From the opening on a blood stained snowy park bench through to the “to be continued…” I heartily enjoyed the opening chapter of this new ongoing series. Despite a dislike for how labels are bandied around, Analog feels like it deserves an ironic post-modern action noir tag; if that’s even a thing…
The setting is pretty straightforward, interesting, and very much in line with today’s big news stories. Set five years after an online security meltdown, “the great doxxing”, there are no more digital secrets – everything online became public domain. To ensure the safe transportation of sensitive info, “Ledger Men” are employed. Think low-tech Johnny Mnemonic crossed with The Transporter. Our story here focuses on one of these Ledger Men, Jack McGinnis, and the shadowy web of spies, hitmen, and ne’er-do-wells that inhabit this analogue world.
World building is often something we talk about and I love to experience it done well. Those little extra details, visual or textual (or audible depending on the media) which pull you in and immerse you in the new ‘reality’. The team do this superbly throughout the course of this issue and it’s a joy to soak in. There’s a real balance between the in your face references to the new normal (the panel where a couple are asked by a ‘patron’ what kind of car they were in literally had me laughing out loud) and the clutter of helicopters, CCTV and surveillance drones. It’s very much my kind of sarcasm, irony, and black hearted humour.
Duggan has crammed a lot of writing into this issue between the inner monologue of McGinnis, and the dialogue throughout. It doesn’t ever feel like a slog though as it’s complimented so well by the art and little cutaways. In some works, you can pick up that there’s a good idea which has only partially been fleshed out, leaving the writer essentially winging it issue to issue; not so here. I definitely get the impression, albeit perhaps incorrectly, that Duggan has a good plan of where this is headed and I’m looking forward to following this title as a result.
With that in mind, I guess that’s where Analog’s big stumbling block is likely to come. For all the great world building and art, the story and writing will need to continue at a high level to match what has been created here. The black humour is great but the jokes and appeal of the setting could wear thin if there isn’t something carrying it. Additionally, as someone who only recently found out the definition of doxxing, I’m unsure if I enjoyed this almost as an outsider. For the tech savvy hip social networking youngsters who think Facepage is for dinosaurs like me, will the appeal of this be the same? Selfishly, I don’t think I care that much as long as I get to read more!
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster