Francis Carver is about to have a very long and very strange day in the stylish noir action thriller, Carver: A Paris Story volume 1 from Z2 Comics.
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Writer: Chris Hunt
Artist: Chris Hunt
Price: £6.99 from ComiXology
Our rating: [star rating=”3.5″]
The first thought upon opening Carver is that it’s one of the most stylish and distinctive looking books out there on the independent scene at the moment. Charcoal, inky, almost smudy art work gives the impression of a gritty noir thriller, no panel space is wasted and the art of Tyler Boss isn’t afraid to get in the reader’s face, especially with the introduction of characters and this claustrophobic approach draws the reader into the world of Carver, it feels close and dangerous working expertly as an immersion tactic.
While extremely stylised and engaging the pacing in places can feel a bit too quick with jumps made unexpectedly and before much of the plot is known but this should not put you off, it dosen’t kill the book off in any sense but it is noticeable to veteran comic reader. That being said the dialogue is very well written and this is more than evident in the ramblings of the villain Stacker Lee who also has a fantastic and memorable design and mannerisms not a million miles from more classic super-villain stylings but packaged in a real world and believable setting. Carver himself carriers a certain seventies detective, stoic and weathered aura about him which fits the overall feel of the book and these two contrasts between characters works well.
The plot takes us on a twisting and turning tale of people’s dark pasts, master criminals, betrayals and ambushes, all set against the backdrop of post WWI Paris. Creative and novel ways of showing actions scenes keep the book fresh and interesting on each page where the sequences are placed and the rich dialogue keeps up moving forward. The book plays it’s cards close to it’s chest and only allows the reader to see glimpses of the Carver’s background on it’s own terms, it shows enough to grasp the idea of the kind of man he is but we felt more could have been elaborated on in places and this is purely down to the fact that such an intriguing character has been created.
Things really pick up towards the end of the book which ends with a bang and a twist that closes things out nicely. Carver as mentioned before is a very interesting character with a lot of depth and something we’d like to see more of and while some plot points seemed to be left open there was enough closure to make this book a entertaining read.