Writer: Rick Remender
Artists: Sean Gordon Murphy & Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Image Comics
Tokyo Ghost is a comic book for science fiction fans as well as fans of internet culture. The series has heavy themes of commentary on technology dependence and excess. 5 issues in this story has gone to some wild places! The story initially started out by introducing us to Led Dent, a technology addicted officer type character who has a girlfriend Debbie who keeps him in check from going overboard with his technology addiction and tries to help him however she can while helping enforce Davey (a technology connected Joker-type character) and the president. This world is full of people who spend their lives satisfying every little addiction and urge, people living in excess and living wasteful lives. It’s in this setting that we find Debbie essentially helping Led rid his body of technology and helping him with his technology withdrawals while escaping Davey’s control and discovering a world unconnected from technology in Japan. This settlement in Japan takes them in and trains them in peace and when all things seem to be harmonizing, sheer terror reigns upon the humble secret village when Led finds himself being controlled by Davey somehow and things change forever in a huge way! The first story arc is a wild ride and one that must be experienced before jumping into this new story arc with issue #6.
Issue 6 is a new story as it sort of builds a lot of where we are at with a sort of refresher on what’s happened and where Led Dent is currently standing having been controlled by Davey. We discover many things about the standing of the world at large in this, with the issue opening with a nursery rhyme themed terrorist group who are against corporate/political standings and want to make a point that the corruption of the system must end. We discover that Led Dent has gone back to working for the government while being Davey’s puppet and Davey is still the presidents chief of security/bitch boy. This whole first story with the terrorist group shows the contrast that Led Dent has given up fighting for what is right and is now ruthless and thoughtless, borderline heartless. In the pursuit of the terrorist attackers, Led Dent allows a mass amount of innocent people to die…. all while Davey spins a story to the public that tries to sympathize with Led Dent’s actions both in Japan and in dealing with this terrorist organization. This is as powerful of a thought provoking piece of the story as it is entertaining, loaded with action and violence. The story then shifts to an important political part of the story where we see the president in all his hedonistic ways giving an interview where he lies about caring about the population of his country. After the president gets his dick sucked, we learn that the president is about to flee to a Las Vegas type resort for the 1% rich folk, all adorned in the president’s themes, symbols and hedonistic beliefs. This is huge as the end of the first story arc left us in complete wonderment as to what happened in the fallout of Led Dent leaving the Japanese village and potentially murdering his love Debbie.
Rick Remender writes this story with thought provoking tones but keeps the book highly entertaining all the while. I am always thrown for a loop when the dialogue or the scene takes a turn for the hedonistic because Remender actually thinks really deep about the culture that has manifested in this tech-addicted world. Sean Murphy’s art is some of my favourite art in recent years after falling in love with his book ‘Chrononauts’. There are heavy graphic design themes in this book which are outstanding and features prime examples of great graphic design. This series is still fresh and easier to jump into than ever with the start of this new story arc. Image series are consistently outstanding and Tokyo Ghost is sure to be one of the most outstanding books on the market in the foreseeable future as many different stories can be told in this universe. The aesthetics of this book are always attractive to look at which is a great way to keep people reading and with our society being addicted to technology in our own ways, it’s easy for people to relate to Tokyo Ghost in a few ways. I recommend this book to people looking to try something new, or even to anime fans looking to break into comics as the book feels much like an action packed Akira/samurai tale hybrid. The first collected edition for Tokyo Ghost has also recently been released and has a beautiful glossy cover that really stands out and entices a collector such as myself to pick up (despite owning covers A&B for the first 5 issues) so pick this up today from your local comic shop and get into the action of Tokyo Ghost!
~ T.J Head