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Review: Harvest #1

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Thursday, August 02 2012 and posted in Reviews
Review: Harvest #1

Organ transplants can lead to a second chance. For the surgeon we mean, not the patient.

Organ donation is a wonderful and noble thing that lets people live on in a beautiful way once they've departed this mortal coil.  The people who donate their organs are heroic, and so too are the surgeons who perform this difficult and precise procedure.

Unfortunately, there's always a dark side to things like this.  That's where Harvest #1 lives.  It's a comic that's firmly entrenched in the seedy underbelly of medicine; the side the rears its ugly head when criminals start getting involved.  The fact is, there are real consequences to leading a bloody, illicit lifestyle, and sooner or later, you're going to need a doctor.  Of course, organized criminal organizations can't simply go to the doctor or emergency room like the rest of us.  So they hire disgraced doctors who have been kicked out of the medical establishment to harvest organs for them.  

Harvest #1 really tells two stories that coalesce into one by the end of the issue.  One sets up the premise and the world of the comic, while the other focuses on its main character, Dr. Ben Dane, a cocky young surgeon who screws up and has his license taken away as a result.  

Harvest #1 takes a sneering, cavalier attitude towards violence, drugs, and sex that initially feels like a warmed over version of a high schooler's sketchbook, but it frankly leads to a fast-paced and pretty compelling story that hits a lot of the notes it wants to hit effectively.  The artwork by Colin Lorimer is a revelation.  The way he designs a page makes the story so arresting and impossible to look away from.  He even makes the gore of a car accident scene look kind of gorgeous, with its strong layout and vibrant figure drawing.  That sense of incongruity extends to the sense of light and shadow.  Lorimer's colors are very vibrant, but his shadows are equally strong; this contrast gives the book an appealingly polished yet appropriately gritty look.  

Some of writer AJ Lieberman's dialogue is iffy, but it gets across his intent (there's a moment when Ben shouts at his lawyer "I'm better than God!  I'm a surgeon," which is cheesy, but it does get convey the level of ego many surgeons, especially young, drug addicted ones, are prone to carrying around).  Still, it's a story that's crafted pretty well and moves along at a good clip.  There are some bumpy trouble spots, but ultimately, it leaves off in an intriguing spot that sets up the next issue, and the rest of the series very well.  It's a comic that's certainly worth a look for fans of loud crime stories, and Lorimer's art really needs to be seen by many, many people.  


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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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