I’ve covered the first three issues of reincarNATE on the site previously, but creator/writer Michael Moreci was kind enough to send me a review copy of the trade and so I wanted to take one last crack at the series which is available now for purchase. The key thing to note about it is that while the single issues read well individually the story is a much smoother ride in the trade. That’s not to say that you can’t just read the digital issues, but that the trade becomes much more immersive as you’re able to continue on with the story and not be taken out of it to load the next issue.
For those that are just being introduced to this series via this review, the story follows private eye Nate McCoy. He’s on a kidnapping case and thinks that the man that killed his father, the city’s kingpin of crime El Panda, is behind it. As he digs deeper and deeper in the case he ends up taking a bullet to the head. Lucky for Nate it doesn’t kill him, but now he’s able to see two people he shares the same soul with. One is a cowboy from him past life and the other is a hitman from his more recent past life. The two make attempts at helping Nate since they’re all strangely connected now, but it takes Nate a while to deal with the fact that he can see two people that no one else can.
The two prove their usefulness as the hitman Alan saves him and his would be girlfriend Autumn from catching a bullet of her own and Jameson takes control of Nate’s body in order to help him escape a situation that would have otherwise found him swimming with the fishes.
The story is pretty complex as there are several elements going on. There’s Nate and his grudge against El Panda; the case that seems to involve everyone and then the mystery element of who’s pulling the strings. On top of all that you have Nate dealing with two people that are from his past life, oh and a bullet hole in his head. It’s a lot for sure, but Moreci manages to keep everything in order and easy to follow and understand. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be able to throw them all out at you like cards being dealt.
I enjoyed Nate’s character, but part of me really wanted him to ease back and breathe sometimes. I think if the series continues it should be a lot easier to do just that, but the nature of this story kept him going at full speed which was tiring at times. The big question for me going into this was, “how is it going to end?” It’s an enjoyable ending that you’ll begin to figure out with the fourth issue for sure. Because I had more time to wait for the ending the impact wasn’t as great with me, but if you were reading this for the first time you would definitely enjoy it and have heated emotions as the reveals happen.
This story is very gritty and the art complements that perfectly. There are a lot of shadows to illustrate the darkness and dangers of the city. The line work is thick and very stylized. Overall though, the art does a great job of supporting the story and tell as much of it with the visuals as possible. They’re very well balanced in that regard. The coloring of the book gives the series a specific look as it’s mostly made up of oranges, greens and browns. Again this plays to the strength of the crime fiction element of the story.
This is a very enjoyable series and the trade in particular was a great reading experience. The major twist of the story is fleshed out by the end and while I craved more of it in the beginning, it was perfectly eased in to the story giving it a fuller read. If you like crime stories and or P.I. stories then you should definitely check the book out; if you also liked Cowboy/Ninja/Viking, but want to enjoy something that isn’t so crazy and all over the place then you should also check the book out.
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Keith Burns
Publisher: 5th World Studios