Saturday, November 4, 2017

No. 1 With A Bullet #1 Review

Bullet the Blue Sky

Written by: Jacob Semahn
Art by: Jorge Corona
Colors: Jen Hickman
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewed by: Andrew McAvoy 

Sometimes comic books just capture the zeitgeist. Everything about No.1 With a Bullet appears on the crest of a cultural wave. Jorge Corona's modern style, Jen Hickman's colorful palette and Steve Wand's design layout, just grab you by the lapels and drag you into this contemporary book, while Semahn's story challenges readers, as well as the technological environment we inhabit. With a cover page and title that just beg you to read, lets see what makes this so special.

I must confess to being fascinated by the ideas in this book. The premise centres around Nash Huang a social media junkie who has obtained low level celeb status as assistant to Jad Davies. They work on spearheading the iRis Shutter contact lens as it hits the market. The latest leap forward in “technological progress,” these contacts are the must have technological accessory to get your hands on.

The book tackles the technological and moral questions of our time, using the concept of celebrity to show how a blend of social media access and interaction, and use of augmented reality can be used to profile, manipulate, and ultimately expose us. As one of the text boxes in the early pages tells us, these days, "privacy means fuck all when there's something juicy in the end".

The twist with this book is that the iRis contact lenses allow the user to, in the words of Jad Davies, not only "record, replay, and relieve...but now recreate reality". And there's the rub; the mixture of recording and recreating form the basis of this first issue, and leave us thinking about debates around the recent i-cloud hacking, as well as touching on some of the issues (considered in another great contemporary comic Infinite Loop: Nothing but the Truth) around the increasing competition between the virtual world and the real world (and who could blame people for wanting to escape the real world). Add in the iRis contact lenses ability to record what you see, and you have the perfect blend for a study of the perils of technology and the challenges it poses.

Bits and Pieces:

The cliffhanger of this issue handles some big themes around the increasingly dominant role in technology and blends them together with a witty plot and characters, some very stylish artwork, and a beautiful layout. You can keep your virtual reality contact lenses; I'm happy to escape to my comic books when they are this good.


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