A lot of people will agree when I say that a good story will leave you wanting more. Truth be told I don’t have all the info about Dr. 2’s world or even the overall plot of the series. I have questions and I have curiosities, but more than anything I have a desire to read more. The story is told in two parts. The first part is very brief and takes place in 1945 in Northern Shanghai while under Japanese Imperial rule. We see a prisoner running screaming about lies only to be stopped at a barbed wire fence. He looks down to see a mass grave of people and the story cuts away.
We then travel 100 years into the future to New York as we’re introduced to Dr. 2. Is he the same man from before? It’s unclear, but they could have some ties. He’s been asked to visit a crime scene and when he arrives he comments that all crime scenes smell the same, but that this one smells like… blueberries. He then does some crazy technique to the victim that allows him to connect to their mind. He inspects the body and finds a cherry blossom in the person’s throat. Dr. 2 asks why forensics hasn’t seen the body yet and the detective informs him that “Old Monkey” wanted him to look at the body first. He also tells him that he’s under strict orders to bring Dr. 2 to the station to talk with Old Monkey, but 2 isn’t having that. He breaks off and starts thinking about the case and why Old Monkey would suddenly call him in and why this case.
There isn’t a lot of information given in this first issue. The reader is given a ton of mysteries to solve and keep track of, but there is something about the presentation that gets its hooks into. Usually a first issue that has failed to give us the basic plot would be a pass in my book, but here I have a feeling that everything is hidden in front of us… we just don’t know what we’re look for yet.
The writing is smooth and has a very nice flow. It’s about thirty-six pages long, but you’ll blow through that fairly quickly and ask for more. Dr. 2’s narration is really strong. It’s has a bit of a P.I. vibe to it, but without all the tropes that can sink that genre. Additionally the world comes across as real and densely populated with characters. It gave me this weird Akira, BladeRunner mix that I dug.
The art work is fantastic. It’s very stylized and only black and white is used. Now it’s not exactly Sin City, but there are times when it’s just as powerful. There’s a fantastic scene when Dr. 2 walks into the crime scene just as the flash of a camera goes off and it illuminates his white jacket and keeps it that way. It was a great transition. The character designs are unusual. There are people who have been altered by acid rain and so they have a strange look, but then Dr. 2 also has a distinct look.
Overall I was really impressed with this story. The presentation alone is worth the purchase, but the fact that the narrative is enjoyable only makes it better. You’re definitely going to want to read issue two since there are so many looming questions to be answered from this issue. I was impressed and if you like strange mysteries torn between two time lines then you’ll probably dig this story as well.