Review – City of Dust

Publisher/s: Radical Comics

Genre: Sci-fi, mystery

Author/s: Steve Niles

Artist/s: Zid

Format: Limited Series

No. of Issues: 5

Vintage: October 2008 – March 2009

City of Dust is the first comic-book series that I’ve read from Radical Comics, a publisher of fully painted comics, and I must say that I’m mighty impressed.  Once again, Steve Niles brings us a suspense-filled tale that invariably intertwines some sort of mythological creature (see his previous works), the product being, in this case, an awesome mini sci-fi/horror masterpiece.

With City of Dust, the reader is treated to a science-fiction story, akin to Ghost in the Shell and Equilibrium whereby the focus point of the series is some form of futuristic lawman and in this case it’s Philip Khrome, a man who as a child, had his father locked up, according to the censors his father was; “attempting to poison a child’s mind with impossible ideas”.  Much like equilibrium; free thought, art, fictional data (books and whatnot) and use of imagination are discouraged and illegal, and this includes all religion as well.  Since Khrome’s father was taken away, it was up to the state to raise him, and as a result, Khrome became a straight-arrow lawman who upholds the law without question (though it doesn’t stop him from ‘meeting and greeting’ with an extremely sexy hooker), that is until he kills a man for praying.  It’s only after Khrome murders the man (he assumed he was going for a gun when in fact it was a rosary) does he then start to question his actions.  Throw in some additional, grisly murders courtesy of a group of mysterious monsters resembling classic creatures such as vampires and werewolves and you have a tale filled with classic Niles goodness.

I must say that the artwork is utterly fantastic, not only are the covers of each issue exquisite, but each and every panel within is rendered with magnificent style and attention to detail, and so far every comic that I’ve seen from Radical Comics is given the same attention.  There’s no excuse for shoddy artwork anymore when whole issues can be drawn with the same care and painstaking effort as the cover art, as seen from the titles that Radical Comics releases.  Being a young publisher, established in 2007, Radical Comics already has big names attached to it including the aforementioned Steve Niles as well as Warren Ellis (the series Hotwire, is based upon a Warren Ellis story) of Transmetropolitan fame.

The Radical Comics logo, I will be reviewing more of their releases as I get them.

City of Dust left me feeling very satisfied, I’m assuming that by having; “a Philip Khrome Story” printed on the cover that we can expect to see more Khrome adventures in the not-too-distant future.  Radical Comics seems to be releasing a lot of mini-series in order to promote their releases as well as give readers a taste of what’s to come, and if City of Dust is anything to go by then I think Radical has a bright and shiny future as a publisher in the comic-book industry, something we need now more than ever what with Marvel Comics selling out to Disney and whatnot.

An example of City of Dust's beautifully rendered artwork.

Overall, City of Dust is a highly enjoyable read, an intriguing story as well as beautiful artwork make this a solid title, worthy of attention and a must for any and all comic-book fans out there.

Grade: B+


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