-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Katherine Cooper Butland
No. 1 With a Bullet is a new comic written by Jacob Semahn, with art by Jorge Corona and colours by Jen Hickman, published through Image Comics.
The comic follows main character Nash Huang, who is an assistant to television personality Jad Davies. She finds herself in the middle of a rude awakening when the augmented reality contacts she’s wearing for the show fire off an image of her boss lying crumpled and dead at her feet. And, worse yet, she’s standing over him, holding a bloody knife.
It’s a chaotic beginning, forcing the reader to piece together what bits of the story can be gathered. Reading on, though, we learn that the contacts are being shown off as an advertising gimmick on the Jad’s show, Jad Davies Now.
Jad Davies, it seems, is an interesting guy. His interests include getting drunk and playing baseball with office-mates, and not signing his years-old divorce papers. Nash doesn’t seem to hate working for him, which makes the opening scene that much more interesting.
In fact, by all accounts, Nash is pretty happy with her life, despite the trolls she tends to attract on social media. She lives with her girlfriend Violet and, while a hard worker, she doesn’t seem terribly stressed by her job. Even the beginning of the comic, when her boss teases her on live television, doesn’t seem to concern her too much—she seems more jarred by the fact that she murdered her boss in augmented reality.
Things take a serious turn for the worse, though, when she’s out to drinks with some colleagues. An unfortunate incident claims a life, and suddenly Nash’s world seems much stranger than before. Then, a secret gets revealed in a very public way.
At the end of the comic, the writer has allowed a space for victims of cyber-stalking, online harassment, and phishing to come forward with their stories and address them. In this way, the comic draws attention to a very important issue we’re currently facing in society. The comic’s story addresses these issues in a way that is entertaining, but the back of the book allows readers to see the dark results. It will make you think, if that’s what you’re looking to do.
No. 1 With a Bullet is available wherever Image comics are sold, and promises to be a highly interesting and relevant story for our time, even if it is based in a slightly altered future.