I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Last Broadcast. As the cover indicates it’s "an Urban Exploration Adventure”, but then the opening begins with a Magician… yeah I was confused as well, but damn if that didn’t grab my interest instantly. I’m a bit of a sucker for magic, not Harry Potter magic, but performance magic… though I am a sucker for Harry Potter magic as well. At any rate the story begins sometime in the future or what could prove to be the present storyline in which we find our Magician Ivan waking up in a hospital bed confused as to why he’s there. He’s informed by his smoking nurse that he was in an accident and that his friends didn’t make it. It’s strange though since she’s dressed in black and she’s asking a lot of questions about what happened rather than getting a doctor.
I’m sure we’ll check in with her and future/present Ivan later in the story, but for now it moves eight weeks into the past and we find the two people from the cover exploring tunnels underneath San Francisco. The narrative of the story begins to run parallel as we meet Ivan again. He’s trying to land a magic gig and for the trick he talks about another magician: Blackhall the Incredible. As he talks we see some things he’s saying kind of match up with what our two urban explores experiencing.
Ivan’s trick doesn’t end well and afterwards he meets up with his friend Alex who helps create his illusions. They have a falling out and Ivan instantly looks for a new way to pay the rent. He calls his friend Dmitri to see if he’ll buy one of his stories only to discover his magazine has gone under, but a package left outside of Dmitri’s door may just change everything for the two men as new evidence supports Ivan’s theory about Blackhall faking his own death.
I think it’s important to point out that this is a graphic novel that’s been chopped up into issues. The reason I’m pointing this out is for the reason that the narrative and pacing is geared towards you reading the entire story at once. While it works as a single issue I can’t say that’s its perfect because of this. The story wasn’t crafted to be a single issue episodic story, but rather one that builds with each page as it approaches the ending. That isn’t to say that the issue doesn’t stand on its own, but it isn’t meant to.
André Sirangelo has crafted an interesting story. The characters other than Ivan are a bit vague with this issue, but I think it works for the story. Our urban explorers are barely known to us, but they’re presented a lot within the story so I’m sure we’ll see them more in future issues. They mystery of Blackhall and what might be his secret lair is the big drawl. Ivan is solid protagonist and I’m sure we’ll really get a feel for him as the story continues.
The artwork is an incredible match to the story. Gabriel Iumazark’s style is very unique, but in a strange way familiar. The angles for the panel were very impressive. One that stood out to me was when Ivan was in the hospital and the way it’s drawn makes it look more like we’re seeing the room in a mirror rather than head on. Iumazark’s character designs were mostly thin-framed characters, but it works for the story.
Iumazark’s coloring is also impressive and reminded me of a polaroid picture due to the hues that were used. There’s a lot of white used, but it doesn’t blow out the page. Instead it gives it fits the strangeness of the story.
I think this was a solid first issue and I think either way you want to check it out; either by single issues or the graphic novel, it will be a great read. I was definitely impressed and can’t wait to get my hands on more of this story and tremendous art.
Writer: André Sirangelo Artist: Gabriel Iumazark Publisher: Boom/Archaia Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 5/21/14 Format: Mini-Series/OGN, Print/Digital