This issue did everything a first issue should do. It took me through a story I haven’t experienced yet. A lot of the times, new comics come out and just retell a story with new characters or new places. Gateway has something raw. I love pieces that deal with some sort of religious aspect. Whether it is big or small, I can always dig some religion being thrown at me. I don’t think a lot of people can say that, but then again I don’t talk to a lot of people. Anyway, the story opens with Jake at a church, and how a comic opens its pages is always significant in how it will close. Jake probably has a lot of reflecting to do; face it we all do. Jake was a cop in his former life until an undercover drug bust goes all wrong. Jake gets shot at allowing him to pass into another world. The question of whether he is dead or not is all up for debate. Jake is immediately questioning his surroundings, and whether he can trust this new world they call Hopetown. Just by the name, it seems to be a scam to me. All the newbie dead people sit down for a presentation on where exactly they are at. Councilman Mason is who introduces the newbies to their new homes. He explains that they are in purgatory. There are many people in this state, but Hopetown has formed a community. Their loyalties lie in God, and they bring comfort among the large groups dying and coming to Hopetown.
The comic has such a good rhythm to it allowing the reader to see the events unfold with Jake. I didn’t feel like the pieces were too scattered for the reader. The idea of having a character walk us through the trials of purgatory captures my thoughts. Jake, knowing he is already a stubborn ass, doesn’t like this Mason dude much. He doesn’t believe a word out of his mouth, and the wheels are turning in Jake’s mind as he sniffs his way through the puzzle. I am wondering if Jake is crazy at this point in time. I mean it seems like this man just can’t accept his fate or that he needs to always be solving some crime in order to not move forward. If you want to find out whether Jake is crazy or if there is something more to Mason you really should just get the comic.
IDW has a real winner for me this week. I couldn’t get enough of this first issue, and really just wanted to keep reading it. The comic just felt elevated from any first issue I have read recently. My only negative point hits with explaining a lot of detail right away. The story is just an explanation piece of Hopetown. The creators did a good job of covering this up by having the whole Councilman Mason introduction be incorporated into the comic itself. During an explanation issue, the talking seems so forced. With Gateway, the talking is all part of Jake’s initiation into his new life...or death.
Writer: Joe Halpin Sr. Artist: Juanfrancisco Moyano Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/15/14