Were Money No Object on April 13 Featuring Area 10

The Book I Think You Should Buy:

Area 10

by Christos Gage and Chris Samnee; Vertigo, $12.99

Below is my review of this book, from when I read the hardcover edition of it back in July:

When Vertigo launched their Vertigo Crime imprint within an imprint, this is what I was expecting.  This is a straight up serial killer/angry cop story, with a typically atypical Vertigo twist.

Adam Kamen is a detective for the NYPD, who has been following a string of murders caused by a serial killer the press has dubbed “Henry the Eighth”, because all that is ever found are the decapitated bodies of the victims.  Kamen is already having a hard time with the case when he gets attacked by a random crazy person, and has a screwdriver driven into the centre of his forehead.

He returns to the job, but is finding that his perceptions have been altered such that he can sometimes get a glimmer of the future.  He and the Department shrink that has been assigned to evaluate his fitness for duty look into the effects of the accidental trepanation he received, and soon learn that the whole thing might be connected to “Henry”.

What follows is a police procedural gone slightly off the rails because of the bizarre way in which Adam sees things.  We learn that he has some secrets in his recent past, and stuff starts to get pretty bloody and suspenseful.

I think it’s amusing that the best of the Vertigo Crime books is one of the first I’ve read not written by a ‘crime writer’.  Gage is an emerging star of mainstream comics, and has TV experience on shows like Law and Order, but he hasn’t written any mystery novels.  Perhaps that’s why this is effective; the other writers don’t really know what they’re doing in this genre.

Gage is joined by Chris Samnee, who is an artist whose work I always enjoy.  His stuff looks great in black and white, and he helps to establish the creepy tone of this book quite nicely.  If you’ve been turned off this imprint before, this is the book that makes it worth trying again.

So, what would you buy Were Money No Object?

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