Boy Zero: Volume One [Part One]



BoyZero1Described by “Caliber Comics” as “an epic noir tale spanning decades and two separate murder mysteries”, this opening chapter to “Boy Zero” predominantly focuses upon Detective Drekker seemingly solving a string of gory murders committed by a seriously sinister bald-headed serial killer, and in doing swiftly draws the reader into a terrifying world of brutalisation, bloody terror and truly repugnant police interrogation techniques which actually leaves its bed-bound victim both dead and saturated in another person’s urine; “During the excitement of the moment Mister Fich released his bladder…” So massively mature a tone may well disgust or revolt any perusing bibliophile haplessly flicking through this comic book whilst stood at the spinner rack, but for those who venture deeper into the sordidly dark world of Glass City, Charles Chester’s enthralling penmanship should easily have them ‘on the edge of their seats’ as the obese cigar-chomping detective spends a pulse-pounding thirty minutes racing sixty-three miles in a marked car so as to stop the death of Miss Hagen.

Interestingly however, the “award winning” filmmaker’s plot isn’t simply a straightforward tale of one of the portly policeman’s more grisly investigations, as its occasional decade long time jumps denote. Instead, the published author’s narrative also provides plenty of mystery in an underlying story-thread which sees artist Shiloh Penfield proficiently pencil the “hero detective” being psychologically analysed by a doctor so that the Mayor can force him into early retirement and ‘satisfactorially’ sign-off another chain of homicides against Nigel’s instinctive better judgement.

This additional scene, admittedly tremendously dialogue-heavy, yet absolutely crammed full of atmosphere, really brings some depth to Drekker’s potentially dislikeable character, so that by the time the foul-mouthed law enforcer is depicted allowing his partner Kip to nauseatingly torture their suspect in a secure hospital ward towards the end of “The Ember Rose”, it’s clear that the man does so “because I am not particularly fond of explaining to parents why their child has been hacked into little pieces” as opposed to being some sadistic tormentor in his own right. Indeed, the policeman’s sole motivation in life appears to be that “on my best day I may be able to prevent” such a thing from happening, and resultantly he’ll question a fellow officer’s manhood if they’re driving too slowly, as well as repeatedly verbally abuse his work colleagues, just to ensure he catches his suspect before they try to kill again.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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