By Ashley Gibbs
Samantha Copeland is modern day Robin Hood in the form of a hacker but now she’s on the run from the US government. After the death of the man she loves she went into hiding and enjoyed a simple life until learning the person responsible for his death was now the President of the United States. She’s back and looking for revenge in this high octane adventure that explores government corruption and the dark underbelly of the internet and our world in general. I will admit, this isn’t the sort of story I would normally pick up but I was drawn in by the prospect of a strong female lead and good story about rooting for an underdog. Samaritan Veritas #1 did not disappoint and gained me as a fan.
A fair warning that this series connects back to other series and events are mentioned that happened to them, however, I was able to follow along fairly easily without previous exposure to this continuity. In a time where many in America aren’t happy with the current president or our government in general (as of this writing, Congress is less popular than Herpes), the story told here is especially poignant. While only the first issue, we can clearly see that the levels of corruption run very deep, something many of us fear every day. Samantha is on a mission to fight this, though mainly for revenge. The writing is fast-paced and we learn a lot of information very quickly, but I did not feel rushed at all. Samantha is a fugitive and the pacing helped me as a reader feel like I was right with her.
I’m a fan of color and I was pleased that this issue had plenty of it, from the blonde of Sam’s hair to just a simple sunny day. A story like this could easily have been done with dark and brooding tones and worked just fine but I appreciated the more realistic atmosphere. Moments I enjoyed were when Sam was simply sitting in front of her computers, the light emanating from her screen against her face really helped set the tone. A woman surrounded by darkness but her light, the only hope she has coming from her computer screen where her skills are best used. The characters are well drawn and expressive as well, everything is handled with care. If I had any complaint it would be the font used for Samantha’s monologue, I found it to be a bit whimsical for the serious story being told.
Samaritan Veritas #1 felt like I was watching a good action movie. The story is filled with drama, tension, and violence as well though not too much for now. I also learned a few things that I probably never needed to, like about the darknet and such but it’s always amusing to learn something from unlikely sources. Even without having any background knowledge of this universe and characters, this is a great first issue to step into the world with and I’m sure readers who are already fans will enjoy this next installment. I look forward to issue two and finding out more about the trouble Sam has gotten herself into.
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Atilio Rojo
Letters: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Top Cow/Image Comics