The Fuse is a new sci-fi series published by Image Comics, written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Justin Greenwood. The story begins in what appears to be your everyday airplane, but there’s some noticeable effects that the passengers are going through that are rather strange. Honestly, it did confuse me for a moment at first; for example, I’m pretty sure being asleep when an airplane landed never made anyone vomit. It’s then revealed that this isn’t an airplane at all, but a space shuttle.
The central character of the issue is a police detective who was originally based on Earth but has now traveled to The Fuse to continue his career. The best way I can describe The Fuse is it’s basically New York in space. It’s implied there’s something wrong with the Fuse, as it’s a surprise that a good police officer actually wants to go there. We don’t get a proper look as to why this is such a controversial place, but we’re given enough clues to make a hypothesis.
There’s a nice mix of seriousness and humour which blend together for an enjoyable read; for example there is a friendly woman who explains that she’s leaving behind a large unpaid tax bill, little does she know she’s actually talking to a police officer. The look on her face when she finds out is hilarious. The Fuse itself seems to be very advanced and houses humanoid creatures which the protagonist hasn’t even heard of. Since the main character is so ignorant of the different cultures we get to learn about them along with him. It’s a clever method to introduce us to new information without having to resort to wordy caption boxes.
The Fuse is full of people from different nationalities, for example the main character is German, and his new partner is Russian. There’s also a set of characters who can travel through electrical cables, which left me wondering if they are some kind of alien species or if this is a technological development.
The art is very stylised with a bright, cartoony look. All of the characters have quite similar facial features, such as an exceedingly pointy chin, but there’s enough distinction to easily tell them apart. Greenwood has a talent for making everyone look as if they fit in with the environment, there are characters with spiky Mohawks, tattoos, piercings and different body shapes, that all seem right at home. Although the artwork is stylised it’s still very precise and looks impressive. The bright colours almost seem out of place within this new, technologically advanced world, especially in some of the more serious scenes where it can seem quite jarring. Characters show a strong range of emotion, that matches whatever else is occurring on the page. So overall, it’s fantastic artwork that suits the story very well.
The Fuse #1 is a really interesting comic that’s friendly to both new and experienced comic book readers. This could be a good introduction into the comic world for people who love sci-fi stories such as Star Wars or Star Trek. The futuristic story and stylised art make for a nice, comfortable read.