“Aid and Comfort” (24 pages)
Written by: Jonathan Hennessey
Art by: Shane Davis; Pete Woods
Colors by: Morry Hollowell; Jamie Grant
Publisher: Legendary Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Chapter One concludes!!
The very first panel shows “The Salesman” complimenting his superior on the status of the secret headquarters. I’m a bit puzzled as to why that is.
The next page four panels on page one have a scar-faced man beating on some poor sap. His identity is unknown to me. I don’t recall seeing him in the other five issues.
Ramona of the Lamia Order has a visit from one of the Resynchronisers who assures her that her beloved Johannes is safe and sound. Their interaction is not unseen. A boy happens to eavesdrop and espy their brief conversation, especially the mention of the “slip”.
Garrison Evers, the spokesman for the Trustees, unveils a brand new craft that should give an edge to the Resynchronisers.
Nyakwye’s secret origin is presented. He hails from James City County, Virginia, nine years after the American Civil War (1821) and is erroneously named Noah. He despises that name. In reality, he was shipped to the U.S. as a slave. That was in 1790 or 1791. He was one of the Temne people, a simple folk who farmed along the Windward Coast. Marauders from the Susu Nation captured him then sold him. English settlers purchased him and made him part of the human trafficking ring before it was outlawed. Given his current status, Nyakwye fights to eliminate anachronisms but also for “our folk”. He narrates his past to one of his brethren — Alhoy, a blind, elderly man who would have no way of knowing. Nyakwye invites him to come to one of his literacy classes and learn Braille. He is then interrupted by fellow officer Paula who informs him of a major to-do in the town.
The main story culminates with the appearance of “Dr. Tomorrow”. Everyone is in an uproar. Upon revealing himself, he tells the townsfolk that he is an ‘extemporal’ which makes him a human anachronism. How rare is that? He is a legitimate medic from the year 2032. He’s been hiding in plain sight upholding his Hippocratic Oath. He riles the people but he is just in his cause. He refuses to hide behind a veil to keep his presence secret. When the Resynchronisers converge, Johannes makes the outrageous decision of having the officers stand down and let the good doctor do his thing. He is on board with the healer’s ways. The impassioned speech is to no avail as an unknown assailant takes him down. It is Scar-Face!! He wants the Doctor for himself. Otherwise, no one can have him. A sniper shoots into the crowd to disperse the lawmakers. Johannes desperately wants to know the whereabouts of “The Salesman”. The doc is in rough shape. He blurts that he has H.H.D. Johannes’ only recourse is to take him out permanently. Luckily, the shooter is cornered in a warehouse and apprehended.
As Johannes and his men contemplate the craziness of the last two days, the brand new craft materializes much to their surprise.
To review this particular issue, I read the previous five. I also researched enough (like a good boy) to know what I was getting into. The concept itself is original in that it isn’t simple another hackneyed concept. As the writer Mr. Jonathan Hennessey has described it: this is retro-futurism. The fact that each individual is a time-traveler that literally must fight to maintain existence raises the stakes and piques interest. However, I feel that the suspense created isn’t enough to maintain interest. Sub-plots and characterization notwithstanding, I’m not compelled to read each subsequent issue. Mr. Hennessey has admittedly stated that he has lingered in obscurity for over a decade. I applaud his ideas but I figured that with the outright outburst of “Dr. Tomorrow”, his true self would be divulged. The same goes for “The Salesman”. Is he the scar-faced man?? That may be since his image depicts cosmetic surgery over the deformity.
The artwork is shared, with Shane Davis illustrating the first five pages. He takes a major step back this issue. I’m curious. He did all the heavy lifting for the other five books. Mayhap he wanted to move aside and cast the spotlight on someone else. His style is clean and vivid. Nothing super-fancy or over-the-top. I find the hardness in the boy’s face, who happens to come across Ramona and the Resynchroniser, unsettling.
Pete Woods takes over the bulk of the book. His figures are angular. The eyes perfectly capture the shock and tension. The best scene is Nyakwye trying to win over Alhoy.
Morry Hollowell takes a breather as well. He is Mr. Davis’ constant collaborator. His colours are quite profound.
Jamie Grant, in turn, compliments Mr. Woods’ work. The tones are more defined, especially the dark lines on each face and body.
All in all, I’m mind-blown by Mr. Hennessey’s ingenious ideas. I know he has done painstaking research and given an infinite amount of thought to this creator-owned piece. Sadly, it is not my cup of tea. This is the first volume of his on-going which will be released in trade in two months’ time. Mr. Hennessey’s other media projects are critically acclaimed and worthy of admiration. I give this a 600 years out of a millennium.