Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: David O’Sullivan
Colourist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Release Date: 3rd October 2018
Back in April when I was given the chance to review the first issue of Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan’s Analog I was very much impressed. All the hallmarks of great world building and storytelling – as well as a heady mix of action and intrigue – were superbly packaged into what was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The big question I had was just how well the creators could expand such a strong start into an ongoing series. The answer, it turns out, was pretty darned well.
Continuing to follow Jack McGinnis further and further down the rabbit hole into the world of a ledger man, this first volume sees the threads of the story pull together into something far grander in scope than even the first issue hinted at. From shadowy government suits buying up the world’s stock of photocopier ink and social media execs selling democracy, to foreign, isolated and paranoid AIs, this series continues to deliver punch after bare-knuckle punch.
Starting out as a fairly straightforward case of a small group doing what they thought was right, the story essentially spirals into a fight for free will itself. What this series does so well is taking all of this heavy dystopia and icing it with a bitterly dark sarcasm. Despite what could easily become a staid ‘thriller’, Duggan delivers page after page of genuinely disturbing ideas that are practically dripping with just the right amount of satire and wit.
Nit-picky criticism could perhaps be levelled at just how good the main cast are at what they do. Until the climax of this first arc (no spoilers!) the threat level doesn’t seem too desperate; back street surgery excepted. Personally I think it’s perfectly in keeping with the overall tone and as the story progresses we gain a greater understanding of who these people are and what they might truly be capable of. This is high action adventure for a very modern age and doesn’t need to concern itself too much with overly gritty realism. There’s a shift from the noir of the first issue to a pulpier feel and I think overall that choice is the better one, albeit with a bit of uncertainty in direction in the second issue. Analog is still very much about choice and consequence, it’s just that this theme is played out on a far wider social scale.
The world portrayed after the great doxxing, with all the internet’s secrets made public, is both ridiculous and worryingly believable. I love that we get to see more than bleak American streets with the action shifting around the globe, opening up a myriad of possibilities for O’Sullivan to draw. The menagerie in Tokyo is a particular favourite and so completely unexpected; a real testament to the team to throw such a curve-ball and not break the immersion.
So, what would it be like if every little secret you thought you had squirreled away was suddenly available to all and sundry? From the biggest banks and businesses, not to mention governments and agencies, through to the average joe on the streets, that loss of control and complete destruction of personal security brings out a cold sweat. Finding a comic which is not only enjoyable but whose ideas whirl around your mind at night, leaving that gnawing, lingering feeling is a real treat, particularly when done in this style or genre.
Duggan et al have so far produced a tale that has continued, issue after issue, to deliver the unexpected. I for one am eagerly awaiting my next ledger delivery.
If you want to find out more about ANALOG, make sure to check out our interview with Gerry Duggan and David O’Sullivan by CLICKING HERE.
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster