Hadrian’s Wall #4
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel
Art, Colours, Cover: Rod Reis
Lettering: Troy Peteri
Edward Madigan, the first officer on the spaceship Hadrian’s Wall, died during a space excursion. Insurance investigator Simon Moore is sent to rubber-stamp a report of accidental death, but he soon realises that Edward’s death was no accident. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles between him and the confirmation of a murder: first of all, Edward’s wife Annabelle is Simon’s ex; then, someone flushed down the drain the painkillers he’s addicted to; his colleague Marshall is trying to hinder his investigation harder on a mysterious person’s orders; and, in issue #3, we also find out that the ship captain wants him gone. Also, his main suspect is Annabelle herself. And the withdrawal from the pills is starting to make itself felt.
Issue #4 opens to a flashback to seven years before the facts in the main story, when the crisis with the Theta colony exploded causing the cold war-style tension on the background of the whole series. A man sacrifices himself by setting himself on fire during the protest, observed from a window by two police officers: Edward Madigan and Simon Moore.
In this issue, that concludes the first (mini-)story arc in the 8-issue Hadrian’s Wall, several things will become clearer: Simon’s shared past with Edward and Annabelle, Marshall’s true intentions and… well, something else that I can’t anticipate to avoid spoiling the surprise.
Hadrian’s Wall is a futuristic take on a locked room mystery, with the locked room replaced by a spaceship travelling in space; along with this, there is a very interesting character development – all this transmitted through a very interesting graphic choice. The colours of the environment do a great job suggesting the claustrophobic environment the characters act in, and even the early panels depicting the flashback – the first time in this series that we leave the Hadrian’s Wall since the very first few pages in issue #1 in which we saw Edward die – are extremely atmospheric.
An extremely interesting noir/thriller, then, a well written and equally well illustrated story really worth reading.