Hotwire – Requiem For The Dead – #1

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Feb 2009 – Radical Comics

Creators: Steve Pugh | Warren Ellis
Story: Warren Ellis
Writing: Steve Pugh
Art: Steve Pugh

This story is obviously centered around the super-hot DecEx Hotwire who works for the Metro Police at City Central. It’s her job to deal with the restless dead, and she’s the best one at it, but of course, it doesn’t doesn’t add to her popularity at work. The closest friend she has is with the coroner and I really love their relationship and interactions.

This book has impressed and excited me so much, I have to bust out a quote that will save me the task of explaining the setting.

Fifty years ago the dead stopped departing, and the blue-light ghosts began drifting into cities all over the world.

Now we’re all ankle-deep in them. They graze of the electromagnetic waste of a billion wirelessly connected consumables. Most can only drift, witless and lost, in the foot-high electric smoke that hangs over the ground.

The suppressor towers keep them out of the good neighborhoods, and the ceramic tombs make sure our new dead stay buried. So those that are left are barely noticed. Kept in the shadows and the corners by our suppressor technology, they yammer and yip out of sight, out of mind.

Some of them can manage a face and a sob story.
Some come back with enough marbles left to cause real trouble.
They’re my problem. I keep the peace between the jealous dead and the ungrateful living.

– Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist.

The issue begins with Hotwire dealing with the blue-light of a dead little girl causing problems for her supposed family. What’s so special about this encounter, is the blue-light happens to be more powerful that it should be. After the incident, we get a nice taste of detective banter you’d see in any crime drama, and begin delving into the meat of mystery that gets weird as we go along, but it’s very creative. Despite the unusual futuristic setting and weird happenings, it’s still believable. I don’t want to say anymore about the plot and would rather you go out and take a look for yourself. There’s a lot of promise here.

I love this setting and the explanation of why ghosts are running around by tapping into the science of it, the belief that spirits give off electromagnetic energy. Giving us a world where there’s so much of this energy floating about it’s a veritable all-you-can-eat buffet for these spirits; I can believe this. I also enjoy the mesh of detective story, with supernatural elements and gritty action.

Such beautiful, colourful, art. It’s amazing! The paint just screams love to all those sci-fi and fantasy artists that have been donning book covers and posters for years. This is good stuff.

This is only a four issue run and I’m definitely continuing with it. I have a new favorite genre: Ghostpunk.


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