Story by Rick Remender
Art by Sean Murphy
Colouring by Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering by Rus Wooton
Tokyo Ghost is brought to us by Rick Remender, writer of Uncanny Avengers and also epic game Dead Space, and Sean Murphy, creator of Punk Rock Jesus and inker on the comic book series of Shaun of the Dead amongst so much more. So already I have to admit I was pretty excited about Volume 1 and how it was going to go.
Set in the year 2089 in the city of Los Angeles where we find the world has gone tech crazy. No more tablets and smartphones as now it’s all replaced by the nanopac inserted in to your body. Saves time I guess? A world where we are literally plugged in to the infinite web twenty four hours a day, no need to Netflix or wait for downloads or worry if we’ve missed out on the latest scandal.
Living in this strangely apt version of the world is Debbie Decay and her companion Constable Led Dent, also known as Debbie’s childhood friend Teddy, as they go in search of psychotic murderer Davey Truant. Constables, in 2089, are employed by the government and police the city to ensure everyone can safely tuck in to the infinite web undisturbed. Our nemesis however can hack in to your nanopac and have you programmed under his will – shutdowns and all. It just so happens that Constable Dent is heavily addicted to his and Debbie is desperately trying to get him living back in the real world as luckily Debbie has managed to live without the nanopac. Which creates an interesting balance between us and this addicted timeframe we find ourselves in, we can relate to Debbie and yet also relate to Teddy/Dent. Characters appear to be what Tokyo Ghost excels in.
The only place that isn’t connected to this world of constant streaming is Tokyo which is ironic considering that today Japan is seen as the king of technology and the major exporter of it. A sign of things to come? I don’t see why not. We’re already living in a place where news is rolling 24 hours a day, the internet is (mis)used mainly for social networking rather than finding out about the world around us and reality shows are the norm. We can access the web on the go whenever we like and wherever we like which means it’s not uncommon to be sitting in a cafe, bar or restaurant amidst the glow of screens. Now I’m aware that this isn’t the first comic to show us a terrifying glimpse in to a dystopian future BUT Tokyo Ghost just happens to do it in a way that is graphic, that is grotesque and that is funny as hell. Not just in the way it displays its ‘good guys’ but also its ‘bad’.
Davey Truant is a brilliant bastard. A slimy yet intelligent being who has taken the infinite web and used it for his own means. Showing off its flaws in a wonderful manner. You just know if a nanopac was a thing of reality there would be a ton of people like Truant willing to hack in to it. Unlike the anti heroes we have now such as Anonymous and Wikileaks, Truant is not the sort of person you want to be able to hack in to your mind. Yet I can’t help but love him. He reminds me of Alex in Clockwork Orange in his mischievous and horrific personality. Although unlike Alex even Truant has a brief flirt with morality as he informs Debbie that he wouldn’t hack into Dent’s mainframe as he doesn’t use ‘cheat codes’. That’s part of what I really like about Truant is his unashamedly way he lives in a nostalgic video game way of life. Tokyo Ghost has really given us a cool set of characters that, amongst the chaos, can give you one liners that will make you laugh out loud. I won’t spoil it but Abe Lincoln. That is all.
Tokyo Ghost is written brilliantly and taps in to our modern technology dilemma. Its characters, as previously mentioned, are strong and diverse enough to keep you interested. The artwork reminded me off the bat of Judge Dredd, classic in its futurism. I could go on but I’d only spoil it and instead I just want to tell you that you should give Tokyo Ghost a read. Anyway I better go as this review has taken a while and I need to check what’s going on with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp….