Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender


I came across this one a while back, in fact I think I first saw it before the tpb was released. I had it marked in my Amazon cart for preorder, but did not get around to reading it until lately. As always I had no idea what it was about. The cover art looked cool and that is what drew me in, I had to check it out. Plus the title was mysterious and sounded cool.

Rick Remender is one of my favorite writers. I have read quite a few of his books including Uncanny X-Force series and Black Science, both were great! His body of work is quite impressive and speaks for itself. Something that is interesting about Remender is that all of his stories are different. He can write the traditional superhero story but also put together something like Black Science or Tokyo Ghost, it seems he has a very active and wonderful imagination. Not to mention the writing talent and skill to gather all those ideas and turn them into great stories. In my opinion he is one of the best comic writers of our time.   

This one starts out in Los Angles far in the future, where the city is an island. Much of the surrounding area is polluted and everyone is addicted to technology, literally. Most people just sit around all day and watch shows in a land of crime. Led Dent and Debbie Decay are two of the best Constables around and no one wants to be in Led’s path when he is on a mission. The two of them have been given a job to travel to Tokyo, which, rumor has it, is one of the only pristine places on the planet left where technology has not taken over. Debbie sees this as their opportunity to get out of the dark underworld they are deeply imbedded in. She hopes that once they get to Tokyo that she can curb Led’s addiction and get him back to the man she use to know, the man she loves. Tokyo is full of surprises and not quite what they had hoped for.

This one really took me by surprise and I was not quite sure what I was going to get when I started reading, but by the end I was really intrigued about the characters and the overall story. I thought this one was going to be something like the normal Anime books out there or the film Akiria (which I have seen most of). While it did have some similar attributes it still was different.

One thing I thought was interesting is that there were parts of the story that had a Clockwork Orange feel to them. You may or may not know that that is one of my favorite books of all time, so it was interesting to see what I thought were bits and pieces of that in this story. I would love to talk to Remender and ask him what the story behind the story was with this book, like where he got the idea and what inspired him to write this. Those are always fascinating but to find out. If I am indeed right would be cool and I would love to find out more about it.

When this one started out I was a little turned off by it. The story seemed all over the place and the visuals were a lot, along with the ridiculous story seemed like it was going to be a long dreaded read. For the most part the first few chapters are setting up the backgrounds of the characters along with their new mission. As usual the reader does not know what is going on. For me I found it hard to get into this one, but I am glad I stuck with it as once you get through the first few chapters the story really takes off and as a reader you can finally sink your teeth into something. Despite the slow star, which really was not that bad, it gets real interesting real fast. I cannot put my finger on what exactly turned me off, but if I had to try and put it into words it would be the ridiculousness of the story and what is going on. It just seemed like a big o’l mess of things happening. While looking back on it I think that might have been exactly what Remender was after to show how crazy and plain ridiculous this place he has created is.

The artwork in this one is, well I would describe it as extreme. For the most part the artwork itself is unrefined and very gritty, still with enough detail that I like, but lacks the any traditional aspects. It is very stylized, but I think fits the story and the themes presented. At first it took a little for my eyes and brain to adjust to the style, but by the end I hardly noticed it. Something that I think is over the top with this book are the page layouts, they are truly spectacular. Most of the time this aspect of comic creating gets lost in the weeds and for the most part this will not make or break a story. But what is really cool is that at times when a creative artist gets ahold of a special story and can throw in some unique page layouts, you get some great visuals on every page. This style would not work with just any story, and if you read this one you will see why it works, but regardless it is really cool to get some different layouts. The colors in this one are above average. There is a wide range of colors used in this one too. You get some very vague and faded colors but also some deep dark rich full colors to really drive home some scenes. How these mix together provides for some epic scenes. Overall the artwork in this one is very unique with tons to excite your eyes.

Overall I liked this one and am really interested to see what happens next. I was surprised by the story even with the slow start it quickly picked up and I was hooked. The characters in this one are great along with some appealing artwork will leave you wanting more. Check this one out if you get a chance you will not be disappointed.




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