Brodie\'s Law #1 Review


Title: Brodie’s Law 1
Teaser: Look At The Pretty Pictures

Reviewed by Will Cooling
Dialogue by Alan Grant
Story by Daley Osiyemi & David Bircham
Art by David Bircham

Meet Jack Brodie, low life, professional criminal, estranged husband, absent father…

Sounds familiar doesn’t it? There’s nothing truly out of the ordinary when you come and think about it. Well except the fact that he has the ability to change his face and body for a limited amount of time. Of course he wasn’t born with such an uncanny power. Instead it was the result of murky goings on involving a hi-tech genetics lab, a computer disc and a goat (well perhaps not the goat).

This is the story of how said murky goings on got well going.

If I’m honest the story and characterisation in this issue is whilst perfectly sound pretty predictable. We’re shown in a series of flash backs and shifting time periods Brodie going through his last days as an ordinary human being. We’re introduced to his relationships in particular his hatred of the local crime lord Odessa who has corrupted his wife Marla. We are also introduced to his Micro-esque best/only friend Sticks who he retreats when wounded for treatment. The characterisation is pretty much stock anti-hero crime genre with the Brodie shown to be a criminal who a) has a conscience as shown by his dedication (of sorts) to his son and b) is kick ass cool as shown by his demolition of Odessa’s goons. And there’s nothing wrong with that, the story/characterisation is coherent and plenty of action is packed into the 22 pages. At times the hints to a wider anti-Brodie conspiracy are a tad confusing but I assume that’s being deliberately left murky for the big reveal later in the series.

In many ways the writing in this issue is very much in the line of such neo-retro works as Pulp Fiction with the same unironic but OTT playing of various crime clichés and genre conventions combined with some kinetic and vivid action. The dialogue is in the same line too with a terse use of dialogue that manages to maintain a cool edge to it.

However, whatever the strengths of the story and the dialogue the star of this issue is undoubtedly the gorgeous art of David Bircham. This stuff is fantastic with linework and colouring that just blows your mind. Let’s start with the linework first; his character design is so out there it’s unbelievable. His characters whilst having a kernel of naturalism are on the whole wild distortions and caricatures with big eyes, full lips and dangerous curves/bulging pecs (depending on sex obviously). His action sequences are vivid and daring with Brodie’s Gambit-esque despatching of the mob handled with real aplomb. His layouts are varied and challenging as he rarely sticks to the traditional grid layout with characters and action spilling over. Then there’s his colouring, which is bold and vibrant and enthuses the art with a seedy, pop art feel that brings the action to life.

David Bircham is a controversial artist due to poorly received work on 2000AD’s Slaine but here he has stepped up a level producing exciting and unique art that literally jumps on the page. Combine that with a good if (at the moment) conventional crime story and you have a great read that you should be pestering your local comic shop to carry.

Final Word: An exciting opener, with a perfectly sound story producing the perfect backdrop for David Bircham to wow us all with eye-catching, jaw-dropping and drool-causing artwork.

Thanks to Pulp Theatre Entertainment for their help in providing me with materials for this review.

Issue 2 of Brodie’s Law: Project Jameson is out now, check The Nexus next monday for my review.

For more details check out Brodie’s Law

A Comics Nexus original, Will Cooling has written about comics since 2004 despite the best efforts of the industry to kill his love of the medium. He now spends much of his time over at Inside Fights where he gets to see muscle-bound men beat each up without retcons and summer crossovers.