Travelling Man's Blog


Review: Uncanny Issue 1 by Travelling Man

“Season of Hungry Ghosts” Part 1

Written by Andy Diggle

Art by Aaron Campbell

Letters by Simon Bowland

Colours by Bill Crabtree

Covers by Jock, Sean Philips and Dan Panosian

Published by Image

£2.85

 

Weaver reads people. He just has to get skin contact and for a short period of time, he knows everything they know. This is a tremendously useful power which demands responsible usage.

Weaver, when we first meet him, is using it to cheat at cards. And failing, which really shouldn’t be happening. Now all Weaver has to do is stay alive long enough to find out why.

This sort of double twist is a classic piece of narrative Aikido and it’s exactly what Andy Diggle excels at. We learn about Weaver on the run, hitting the ground at a sprint as he loses, goes to his suite to bring the winner money he doesn’t have, gets an out and then…all hell breaks loose. The pace never lets up, the action escalates and Weaver never gets lost in empty spectacle. By the end of the book we know he’s powerful, we suspect he isn’t unique, we can tell he’s done this before and he may have an ally. Or at the very least, someone new to get in trouble with.

Superficially that looks like spoilers but this is an Andy Diggle script, and God is always in the details. Diggle uses a constant switch between massive, expansive panels and small reaction shots to focus you in on the human elements of the story. A handshake becomes a moment of vital importance, a single panel of Weaver’s face shows he’s back in control and suddenly the book shifts focus and rhythm. It’s a really smart idea and Diggle uses it again and again to focus your eye exactly where it needs to be. In doing so, he also teaches us about Weaver whilst raising more questions. He seems trained in escape and evasion but doesn’t have the backup of a government. He’s clearly a gifted conman but he needs to read hand to hand combat skills to have them. He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a good suit and the biggest question in the book is who is Weaver? The second is, how did he get into this much trouble?

Aaron Campbell’s precision artwork is an exact match for Digggle’s script. Campbell’s character and expression work is fantastic and his sense of place is just as good. A book like this, like Weaver himself, relies on exact detail and Campbell nails it again and again. Weaver’s increasingly desperate expression in the casino, and the moment of smugness he allows himself when he gets the upper hand are perfect pieces of characterisation and they’re far from alone. Campbell draws real people and every page of his art is impressive. Bill Crabtree’s colours close the circle, with casino scene and the closing night time fight scene both really put over the top by his work. Finally, Simon Bowland’s lettering is great throughout but really stands out in the brutal fight at the centre of the issue. The effects aren’t showy or over the top, but every strike that lands sounds like it lands with bad intentions and raises the scene even further.

 

Uncanny is a slick, fast, incident heavy read. It’s effortlessly entertaining and drags you into the shadowy world of its lead instantly. Weaver may not be holding all the cards, but trust me, Uncanny definitely is.

 

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