I waited for a special occasion to write a new blog post here in my old stomping grounds. That special occasion is the release of Russell Lissau's and John Bivens' Old Wounds #1.
I've known Russell for some time now, and I know him to be a good guy. He's an honest guy, as honest as any I've known. And he's a journalist, like David Simon was. So, when I tell you that Old Wounds reads like an episode of The Wire, set in the world of Watchmen, you'll know that I mean business. He's telling a crime story like it is, as he's seen it. And that expert storytelling shows through and gives the world of Old Wounds a gravitas that almost seems too good for a world with powers in it.
The opening of the story focuses on Michael Lane, a former masked adventure called Night Hunter, as police wake him at his door to report the death of someone who used to be close to him. I don't even want to tell you more than that, because I don't want to spoil the blooming of the flower that marks the beginning of this story. It unfolds in a way similar to Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent, where layers give way to more layers.
What I will tell you is that the story feels familiar, with settings and imagery evocative of Watchmen (secret identity closet) and The Dark Knight Returns (retired hero missing an arm) but with none of the baggage that go with them. It doesn't feel thirty years old. It feels comfortable, like your favorite sweater that has been freshly cleaned. But as the story progresses, that comfort is only temporary, as Michael and his former partner find themselves embroiled in a mystery that you feel isn't going to go well for them. The danger feels real, and I am genuinely interested in what happens to the characters, even though I just met them.
I can't wait to read more.