Review: Halogen #3

I am real thankful for Comic Bastard Dustin regarding this title as I would have probably never even read it if not for a group review completed a couple of months ago.  During that initial review, I saw an interesting little mini that blended the ancient and the future, science and superstition, and a story that was drawn with an edginess that harkens one back to movies like Blade Runner where a future and super technologically advanced society is collapsing in on itself looking for some meaning in why things are the way they are. Halogen #1 started the ball rolling as the body/bones of a long dead ancient god named Det’Houva was discovered in space.  While this was going on, several bizarre events regarding ancient prophesy and cultist activity occurred that seemed to usher in the possible return of the dead god.  Whether true to prophesy and events, very powerful forces were at work to recover the dead god’s body.  For what purpose, it is unknown, but there was lots of interest to say the least. And it was quite cutthroat.

Included in this hunt for the god is the Halogen Corporation and their super spy Rell who has holographic abilities as well as a halo around her head.  She also is quite bad assed and solid in a scrap. This is one lady that you would want with you during a fight.  Issue #1 introduced many of the characters to begin what was looking to be rather epic in scope.  As for Issue #2, it continued the tale as a part of the dead god’s body was identified on a distant planet beginning a race to recover what remains could be found.  What is found is a girl.  But a god girl none the less.  But before Rell can get the young god/lady back up on the ship, a rather nasty robot from a competing company comes down to claim the prize. And it has some pretty superior firepower.

HaloGen-#3Issue #3 takes place right after this meeting and brings together a great deal of the characters who have already been introduced earlier as things prepare for a conclusion with Issue #4.  The young girl, calling herself “Det” has taken up residence at Rell’s apartment with every competing agenda recognizing this fact. All are preparing to do whatever it takes to secure the girl/god.  It is shaping up to be one hell of a battle.

When I first read issue #1, I liked the story and felt like it had a lot of potential.  Writer Josh Tierney put a whole lot of information into a very small space of a comic that almost overwhelmed me initially.  But as I read through it a second time, I discovered a very rich tapestry of well-developed characters, detailed layouts of the city structure on the edge, and a plot driven story of good versus evil on both a postmodern and ancient front.  It actually read well upon the second reading and I was able to appreciate much more.  Issue #2 had no such troubles of complexity as the plot moved briskly arriving at the planet, the discovery, and the battle.  It was quite good and peaked my interest, helping me to really look forward to the next release.

With Halogen #3, we have reached the penultimate issue and I am gaining a true respect for Tierney’s writing.  This is a powerful tale that is complex for sure, yet well-developed and rich too.  A science fiction tale of this nature could very easily be shoehorned into the same old cliché’s.  But in Halogen, we have an original tale.  One that really causes you to take pause and wonder where we have been and where we are going.  Tierney likewise, writes the characters in a way that shows them to be detailed in personality and motivation.  There is more than meets the eye between “the good guys” and “the bad guys”.  They all have emotions and desires that make them full and multidimensional in nature.  Not just the standard cardboard cutouts of many such tales.

Some pretty big plot points are revealed that propel the story to its eventual conclusion which I will not divulge here.  But we are shaping up for an interesting assault of action and emotion for the finale that will determine what will be the either the end or the new birth of this floating city in space and its many residents of rich and poor, old and young, and flesh or robotic.

As for the one thing that has been constant through all three issues, it would have to be the incredible art of Afu Chan.  He has been killing it, drawing a rich and burned out world that stands at the pinnacle of technological advancement while at the same time sits at the pit of decay and death.  It is powerful and continues well in with Halogen #3.  Every character (and there are quite a few) all have a very unique and detailed look that only helps Tierney’s writing.  These character’s stick out on their own and are portrayed in that way making for a full and enjoyable experience.

Yes, I am very happy that I took that group review from Comic Bastard Dustin.  He introduced me to some super talent that I had not known until I read Issue #1.  And further, he introduced me to a mini-series that has captured my imagination and interest that is actually making me feel a little bit of sadness to know that it will be concluding with Issue #4.  Until such time though, I plan to read this issue some more and unlock the many secrets and full story offered up by Tierney and Chan.

Score: 4/5

Halogen #3 Writer: Josh Tierney Artist: Afu Chan Publisher: Archaia/BOOM! Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/6/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital