Friday, July 31, 2015

Pneumatic Cases #1: A Review of Deduction, Seduction, Death and Pistons

Pneumatic Cases #1: A Review of Deduction, Seduction, Death and Pistons

Welcome to London during the Victorian Age where at the stately Ravenscroft Manor, the home of Lord and Lady Ravenscroft you will find two brilliant scientists and innovators whose lifestyles and inventive ways directly conflicts with what society deems normal and proper at the time. When a murder is committed the couple jump to action in a fast past whirlwind adventure filled with mystery, danger, romance action and adventure!

If you love mysteries this book is it for you, but it is far more than that. As much as this book is about the mystery it is also very character driven where the Ravenscrofts personalities and passion jump from the pages grabs you by the hand and sweep you away with them on an adventure that has danger and adventure around every corner. I talked about this issue on Frontline LIVE where it took my #3 spot that week.

The story is very fast paced, but not overwhelming. The pacing is set up to make you feel immersed in this world where your heart beats a bit harder and blood pumps a bit faster just by the passion for deduction that the Ravenscrofts exude. John Wilson perfectly captures this passion on page where most do not. This type of raw passion and chemistry can usually get lost in a world that exists in print and images. I would liken his style to that of the Holmesian. I have read many mysteries and the tales of Sherlock Holmes have always grabbed me and took me into another world as Wilson has here. The story gets 4 ½ stars.
The art in this issue really marries the story where you feel like you are really back in Victorian Age London. The artist brings the era to life with period precise building, furniture, clothing, and even gets the cobblestones to look spot on. Also something that I thought was a nice touch was the faces. I have mentioned this in reviews and critiques about TV shows movies, etc. with a certain actor being cast in a role is that people from different regions look different someone from New York has different bone structure than someone from London. Roque actually does that here, the Ravenscrofts and those around them look like they are from England, they don’t look like generic people and that is something I really enjoyed. Lisa Moore really shows how versatile she is with her coloring here bringing this world to life by making everything pop at you further immersing yourself into this world. The art gets 4 ½ stars.
Like I said on Frontline LIVE my one critique on the story is that while I am swept up and immersed in this world I felt like I was taken along as an observer, and not as a participant. I compare it to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Elementary Dear Data. In the episode Geordi takes Data who has read everything on Sherlock Holmes to the holodeck where he has programmed the computer to give them a case that will blend the various stories into a brand new mystery. Data having read them all quickly deduced the mystery and the program was over in minutes leaving Geordi and Dr. Pulaski feeling left out and unfulfilled. When reading a mystery what I enjoy the most is that sense of putting the pieces together myself, formulating theories and working the case along side of the detectives in the story. That is not to say I didn’t have a wild adventure because I did but I just wanted to be more included.
So with the story getting 4 ½ stars and the art getting 4 ½ stars I give this issue an overall of 4 ½ stars. I highly recommend giving Pneumatic Cases #1 a shot.

Created/Written By: JOHN WILSON
Pencils/Inks By: ROWEL ROQUE
Letters/Logo By: BRANT FOWLER
Price: $4.00
24 pages, Rated T+

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All images are courtesy of Last Ember Press

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