Tokyo Ghost #7
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering: Rus Wooten
Publisher: Image Comics
Look, you know what's happening here. Rick Remender is a great writer and creator and has given us a really interesting world for to invest ourselves in. Whether we're seeing the internal dialogue of Teddy or the actions of a brutal Led Dent, we have characters in front of us that we can sympathize with and understand on various levels. The journey that we've watched these characters take is not only compelling, but at times inspiring.
However, at times the writing in this book is heavy handed and kind of clunky. We're given two very ineloquent monologues about the negative effects of classism and capitalism, and how the rich are entitled and seek to take from everyone and everything, seemingly without consequence. While I agree with these statements, I still found them jarring. Remender generally has a much more dramatic way of hypothesizing with these specific characters and honestly at times the dialogue in this book was just too straight forward for me, there's a sentence in this issue that literally says "you shit the world", and while I laughed at this. I don't believe this was supposed to be a laughable moment.
I'm bitching a lot about the content and writing of this book but at the end of the day the story that we're working through in this issue is amazing and even in this specific book, I found myself surprised by certain revelations and developments and thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading. I think I find myself nit-picking with Tokyo Ghost simply because its been so good in the past, and when I see something of this caliber slip even one bit into "normalcy" it's very obvious.
The art of Tokyo Ghost is pitch-perfect. Sean Murphy is amazing. He draws incredible things. Matt Hollingsworth gives gorgeous color palettes from beginning to end. I have never felt that any of these pages has failed to convey an idea or a scene accurately. From page 1 we are immersed in an elegantly depressing world that I could spend days in. Whether we're seeing a decaying L.A. skyline or a slightly different character design for Led Dent, it's lavish. I could write forever about how good I think Sean Murphy is, and how his concepts and design in this book expertly shape the world that we're so invested in. I honestly believe that without art this good, Tokyo Ghost would not be what it is.
Getting specific in this book I have one of my favorite Davey Trauma scenes ever (hint: it's the last page) where we get an understanding of not only his power, but more detail of his physical presence. We also get a really great Han Solo-esque jacket for Constable Dent in this issue, and as a novice jacket connoisseur, I was very excited. I also feel Debbie really had a physical presence in this book, even just with the EMP field we see constantly revolving around her, she has a real presence in each scene she inhabits and I feel that it takes the "Tokyo Ghost" aspect of her character to the next level.
As I opened issue #7 of Tokyo Ghost I was happy, a gorgeous panel greets me with the thoughts of our beloved and "innocent" Teddy (Constable Led Dent) who's been offline for 46 hours. As we survey the scene we understand that not only is he starting to remember what happened to his life previously, but he's having some hallucinations, only giving us further insight into his self-deprecation and depression. This scene sets an incredible tone for the book as a whole, giving insight into the damage done by the nano-tech and the underlying desires of Teddy when he isn't Led Dent.
As we move out of this introspective scene we move forward in our story and get an understanding of where we are in this arch. Flak and the "best and brightest" of L.A. are going to invade Tokyo and take it for themselves, because they feel they are owed this luxury. We get some very funny and interesting scenes telling us exactly how immoral and ignorant Flak and his people are, all serving the end-goal of making us hate them/ourselves (there's some real hurtful real-life parallels in this book so reader-beware-ish).
Understanding that we're on the eve of moving this population over to Tokyo we also understand that there's a "hero" moving through L.A., taking people offline and coming for Flak, to thwart his mission. With this Davey Trauma brings Led Dent (Teddy of course is gone again after Led goes back online) to run point on security for this mission and the scene unfolds.
I'm not going to walk you page through page of this book. You can probably imagine what happens in this issue pretty easily honestly, but I don't think that makes it any less great. We get some really fascinating ideas presented in this specific issue, and while I felt it was a bit heavy-handed at times, I still enjoy these ideas in their entirety.
I won't spoil any of the great moments in this book but I will posit a few interesting ideas for the Tokyo Ghost series as a whole:
Who is the real protagonist?
If a single source creates a force for good and evil do they negate one another?
Is our Tokyo Ghost on the right side or simply in the way of progress?
All of this and more in next months issue of Tokyo Ghost. I actually kind of can't wait.