Happy Comics Release Day!
Hotwire was in a batch of review copies sent to me by Radical Publishing, which specializes in action, horror and fantasy stories. GeekDad Jonathan gave an overview of the company’s comics last year and I’ve previously reviewed Caliber and Legends: The Enchanted.
Hotwire caught my eye because of the name Warren Ellis.
The premise was promising and it had a female lead, so I grabbed it out of the pile. I wasn’t disappointed.
“Fifty years ago, the dead stopped departing, and the blue-light ghosts began drifting into cities all over the word.”
So begins the second volume of Hotwire. It stars Alice Hotwire as a metro police detective exorcist. Or, as she puts it, “I keep the peace between the jealous dead and the ungrateful living.”
As this issue opens, we learn that Alice is on medical leave after nearly dying from a previous adventure. She’s recovered physically but not mentally. Naturally, a new case pulls her back in and so does the incompetence of fellow officers who don’t know how to handle the ghosts nearly as well as she can. As the issue ends, a new threat is on the horizon.
What Kids Will Like About It:
This one is for ages twelve and over, depending on your child’s tolerance for violence and scary situations.
My eldest son, fifteen, read it and then asked for more, so I think I’ll have to get the trade paperback of the first series. But, then, ghosts and violence in media has never bothered him. The story pacing is fast, the premise fascinated him, and there are some great battles within the comic. I didn’t, however, give this to my eleven-year-old twins. The violence isn’t especially gory but the idea that ghosts might come to attack them is something that might give them nightmares.
What Parents Will Like About It:
Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres and this has an unusual premise and a great lead character. Alice is not without flaws but she is clearly trying to do the right thing and kick some serious butt while doing so. She’s very direct and straightforward without being cruel. There’s a humanity to her that can sometimes be missing from action heroes.
What I really love about most of the artwork from Radical is that while the people look powerful and beautiful, they also look realistic. Alice is sexy, yes, but she’s not sexualized, if that makes sense.
And the ghost art is very, very cool.
Alice has been talking to someone off-screen for much of the time. Finally, we see her video game partner and he’s not who we thought he was.
About the Creators:
Warren Ellis is best-known in comic circles as the creator of Transmetropolitan, Planetary and The Authority, the latter for DC’s Wildstorm imprint. He was directly involved in the first volume of this series but is only given a creator credit on this issue. Steve Pugh gets the credit as writer, illustrator and letterer, which is impressive. Pugh has worked primarily as an artist for DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse, among others. At his blog, there are pages from Deep Cut as well as from the trade paperback of Alice’s previous adventures.