Advance Review: The Fuse #10

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Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Anthony Johnston
Art: Justin Greenwood
Colours: Shari Chankhamma
Lettering: Ryan Ferrier

Ristovych and Dietrich still have no clues about the death of Starlight – or rather, Cathy Kuang. She was a gridlocker, possibly the best in the history of that violent and illegal (but very successful) sport, and she was found dead in her gridlocking gear just when she was supposed to be taking part in an event, but the two detectives doubt that her death is fully linked to the sport. What they know for sure is that it was indeed murder. They also found drugs on her body – and Mrs. Kuang was a staunch anti-drugs campaigner…

The fact that Cathy Kuang also was a very successful woman has already drawn lots of attention from everyone, but now the investigation has come under the scrutiny of the anti-terrorism squad, as we found out in the last issue.

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In this issue we discover that Cathy Kuang was involved in the FLF (Fuse Liberation Front), that she also helped finance. The FLF is a para-terrorist group ready to fight in any way possible for a full independence of the Fuse from Earth – and we see the Police trying to find out if this can be what caused her death.

The Homicide detectives finally seem to have found some hints to solve the case, but bureaucracy is everywhere, making it much more challenging to actually get what they want.

The story is, once again, a perfectly built thriller. There is a murder (well, a death in extremely suspicious circumstances anyway) to solve, suspects with alibis, Police agents hindered by uncooperative witnesses… they might have a vague idea of what could have happened, but they still have a long way to go before they find the truth.

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And, once again, I find myself not appreciating the artwork in this book. The characters’ faces seem to be changing from panel to panel (starting as little more than drafts anyway), the background is always very blurry… it’s a real shame, as The Fuse is a great story. The colours do something to improve this overall impression, especially in the bleaker scenes, but I feel that the art of The Fuse is a major weakness in this series.

Despite this, I consider The Fuse a very good series, thanks to the brilliant storytelling. I’d suggest to those who may want to pick it up, however, to start from the beginning of this story arc (or, even better, of the whole series) in order to better appreciate all the secondary storylines that take place underneath the main story – and also, of course, to better enjoy the build-up towards what will certainly be a very surprising ending to this story arc.

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