Review – Absolution

Publisher/s: Avatar Press

Genre: Superhero

Author/s: Christos Gage

Artist/s: Various

Format: Limited Series

No. of Issues: 7

Vintage: June 2009 – December 2009

There are heroes, and then there are criminals and in the realm of comics, the ’superhero’ uses his unique gifts and abilities to uphold the law and make the world a little safer for all of us.  In Absolution, John Dusk is one such hero, he works with a small group of enhanciles (essentially; super powered beings) in cooperation with the police department and together they thwart crime.  Except that years of witnessing disturbing acts of disturbing people has started to take its toll, resulting in sleepless nights for John Dusk who begins to feel that the law isn’t living up to the ‘protect and serve’ motto.

So finally after being taunted by a pyro-maniac/serial killer, John ‘crosses the line’ and kills the bastard.  From that moment it starts to get easier and easier for John as he takes out one criminal after the next and everything seems to be going great up until a genius inventor known as the ‘Technocrat’ discovers that John is murdering criminals instead of arresting them.  Add the fact that John’s girlfriend is a police detective and his life suddenly becomes very complicated.

Avatar Press has fast become one of my favourite comic-book publishers, the stories are fresh, complex and above all; compelling and I really think that larger publishers such as Marvel Comics should tear a page from Avatar’s book and realize that there is indeed a market for more mature, darker stories for comic fans that are looking for something different.  I have yet to be disappointed by any Avatar release and because Warren Ellis has a lot of titles under the publisher I seriously doubt I’m going to be disappointed anytime soon.  Christos Gage has crafted a wonderful mini tale with Absolution, filled with scenarios that force the protagonist to question whether their actions are justifiable when the system fails to uphold the law time and time again.

Indeed; “some people just need killing” is a very apt statement especially with the psychotics that populate the world of Absolution.  While I didn’t find the artwork to be all that inspiring I did however enjoy the cover art by Juan Jose Ryp and FreakAngels‘ Paul Duffield.  Juan Jose Ryp seems to be synonymous with Avatar press (likewise with Warren Ellis) with such brilliant titles as No Hero and Black Summer to name but a few.

Overall, Absolution was a highly enjoyable read and I shall make a point of tracking down more titles by Christos Cage as I’m sure to enjoy them just as much.  At the same time I look forward to more titles from Avatar Press so if you’re a comic-book fan, do yourself a favour and give Absolution a shot.

Grade: B

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