Review: Tokyo Ghost #1

Cody Tromler Cody Tromler
Contributor
September 25th, 2015

A comic loving guy from Omaha, Nebraska. Also host of Dan Dashly Discusses, the internet's 2,368th most popular youtube comic review show.

Review: Tokyo Ghost #1
Comics
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Review of: Tokyo Ghost #1
Price:
Strong Buy

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 25, 2015
Last modified:September 27, 2015

Summary:

Tokyo Ghost has a few bumps in the road but the potential and talent in this book far outweigh the minor problems it has!

Review of: Tokyo Ghost #1
Price:
Strong Buy

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On September 25, 2015
Last modified:September 27, 2015

Summary:

Tokyo Ghost has a few bumps in the road but the potential and talent in this book far outweigh the minor problems it has!

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Tokyo Ghost is a smash hit for Image Comics and our Cody Tromler is here to break downy the reasons why.

Tokyo Ghost examines one bleak conclusion of our increasingly tech obsessed lifestyles. Taking its lead from other dystopian classics, Tokyo Ghost combines the policing themes of Blade Runner, the tech and body augments of Shadowrun and the entertainment obsession of Death Race into one familiar yet seemingly fresh package. While it might sound like just another anti-tech sci-fi tale, the characters and their struggles turn it into so much more.

Summary:

Tokyo Ghost follows Debbie Decay (the type of name that just screams happy ending)  and Led Dent, two constables, futuristic cops in 2089 LA  that protect the interests of Flak Corp, a mega corporation that treats people as nothing more than ratings generators. The two lover constables are hot on the tail of Davey Trauma, an early 2000's obsessed gamer that got trapped in the net giving him the ability to jump into any one that has tech implants, which means literally everyone on earth except Debbie. With Led fully engrossed in the television of the future, most of the work falls onto Debbie, except breaking faces, the hulking Led is still perfectly suited for that. Debbie is happy to do it though, since after this one last job they are free to retire, if it all goes as planned that is.

Critique:

Tokyo Ghost starts off exceptionally strong but as the book goes on it loses the initial steam. The opening chase scene between the constables and a random thug in Davey's gang is an exceptional piece of world building. As the perp races through the slums of LA we are introduced to the bleak future in an incredibly natural way with no stone in the ghettos unturned. As Debbie and Led pursue Debbie gives us context about the world they live in to go with the exceptional visuals that Sean Murphy is crafting. Remender explains the plight of the poor and tech obsessed in the form of an internal monologue from Debbie but frames so that it appears as the everyday thoughts of the only sane person in an increasingly tech obsessed world. It manages to avoid the clunkiness that can come with establishing a lot of setting in very few pages.

Story continues below

Yet this strength in establishing settings wears out it's welcome as the book never stops establishing settings. Immediately after Debbie and Led met Davey, in the form of him hacking into his henchmen, it's off to the death races, with only a page of time in between for Debbie to explain what is going on. While Murphy's sprawling visuals make the setting changes well worth it, it can get a bit draining to immediately abandon a setting as soon as you become used to it.

However a break neck pace isn't the misstep that Remender makes with the writing of Tokyo Ghost. The dialogue floats between inspired and clunky, depending on who is talking. Debbie and Led have some amazing interactions, stemming mainly from the fact that Led doesn't talk so we get to see Debbie struggle to reach her tech zombie boyfriend, which is not only interesting but gets the reader invested in Debbie's struggles with her relationship with Led. Yet any time Davey's dialogue appears on the page, which is entirely too much, eye rolling and groaning are sure to follow. Dialogue filled to the brim with early 2000's slang and "leet speak" (for those of you that remember those dark times) make his dialogue hard to stomach. That was likely what Remender was going for but that doesn't make it less cringe inducing.

Credit: Image Comics

From Tokyo Ghost #1

Davey was also the source of the only truly clumsy part of Remender's otherwise great script. A moment where Davey, in an attempt to intimidate Debbie before he killed he, started quoting her exceptionally lengthy psyche profile, essentially telling us everything we could have discovered about her naturally over the course of the series. While the situation was more than a bit unsettling it did not make for great dialogue.

When the book gets away from Davey and Debbie interactions and back to the high octane action it regrows it's legs. Debbie and Led work together so flawlessly in battle that it really shows how in love they once were. This book's main strength's lie in these scenes and when Debbie is talking with Led or to herself and it's clear that there will be a lot more of those as the book goes on.

With the few misses where the dialogue and pacing are concerned Remender, Murphy and Hollingsworth have brought their exceptional talents together to make a book that enormous potential. Tokyo Ghost #1 brings to the table issues that are sure to be familiar to anyone reading it, yet by wrapping these themes and issues in a sleek, sexy and vibrant Sci-Fi package they've made it an enjoyable experience that I can see myself getting as obsessed with as Led is with his shows.

 

Cody Tromler is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_Dashly

Tokyo Ghost #1

  • 4

Strong Buy

Tokyo Ghost has a few bumps in the road but the potential and talent in this book far outweigh the minor problems it has!

Story continues below

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