Mumbai-Confidential-1-Cover2Last week saw the brilliant Mumbai Confidential from Archaia Entertainment released as a complete collection on both ComiXology and as a hardback graphic novel. This brilliantly gritty, tense crime noir set on the monsoon lashed streets of Mumbai is a fantastic take on the traditional crime noir. With it’s story of the unorthodox and often immoral Encounter Cops – police charged with taking down India’s mobs and turning to crime themselves – Mumbai Confidential oozes corruption, violence and duplicity and makes for a fantastic read. To find out more we contacted creators Saurav Mohaptra and Vivek Shinde to get low down on the world of Mumbai Confidential.

Christopher SebelaHow far would you go to earn a living? In the brilliant High Crimes from MonkeyBrain Comics lead characters Zan and Haskell go literally to the top of the world – Everest to be precise – in order to lower themselves to the bottom of the moral barrel as they attempt to swindle money out of the family’s of deceased climbers. With this brilliantly original premise at the heart of High Crimes we wanted to know whether writer Christopher Sebela was as intrepid as his lead characters and whether he would pay to get his loved ones off the worlds highest peak!

This week’s must-have digital comic was actually released last week, but it’s so good that there is nothing this week that can eclipse it. As you’ll no doubt have figured out, we’re big fans of Jonathan Hickman with The Manhattan Projects nominated for the Pipedream Pull List last month. However his latest book Secret, also released by Image Comics has exceeded even that and proves that Hickman is much than just a superhero writer as this new crime/espionage story is up there with the top dogs of the genre and goes to prove that with a compelling story you don’t need to rely on cosmic punch ups to make a great comic.

Secret starts with a bang as we join the middle of a house invasion where a man is being tortured for information by a ski mask wearing bad guy. With dramatic use of monochrome and strong red highlights, Ryan Bodenheim’s art is tightly woven but brilliantly simplistic. The opener is tense and brutal without relying on gore and ultra-violence and this feels like a theme for the rest of the book. One of the real shining lights in the book is the colour design by Michael Garland. Like The Manhattan Projects, it uses a very limited, monochrome palette with highlight colours to show emotion or certain characters and their actions, and again it works to great effect in Secret, alternating between warm yellows, cold blues and violent splashes of red.

The remaining plot is a tightly wound story of cross and double cross as our home invadee attempts to cover his tracks and is persuaded to hire a private security firm and it’s maverick investigator Grant Miller to prevent the information he revealed to embarrass himself or the company he works for. This may not sound like the most riveting of plots, and describing Miller as ‘maverick’ almost does him a disservice, but the story slowly builds throughout the issue and introduces layer after layer of plot until all the main characters are introduced and you have no idea who is the hero and who is the victim. Apart from a few scenes of action like the home invasion and a later assassination, much of the story is told with talking heads in corporate office and so it is a true triumph that this book is so compelling when set in such a sterile and lifeless environment.

With a final page reveal that makes you desperate for the next issue, Secret was a genuinely surprising book and at a time when so many super star writers are producing new titles this stands head and shoulder above them as one of the very best.

Secret is available on ComiXology or Image Comics’ app for £2.99