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Art by Colin Lorimer
Cover by Colin Lorimer
There’s an almost screenplay quality to the first issue of Image’s new miniseries, Harvest. With a divisive and troubled lead character fronting a unique and mature plot with a string of interlacing subplots – it wouldn’t surprise me if writer, A.J. Lieberman was influenced by hit shows such as Breaking Bad or Mad Men. Unlike these shows however, Harvest fails to produce a really captivating pilot that will have readers chomping for more.
It’s a combination of things but the biggest headache is our protagonist, Benjamin Dane. It’s a struggle to try and pin the character. Dane is the surgeon with no credibility due to his sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle but while this works for some characters and their lifestyles, Dane comes off as unlikable and pathetic. Scenes of him in his decadent penthouse, high on coke, sharing his lonely existence with two blockheaded prostitutes fails to really serve a purpose other than to show the extremity of his lifestyle. His career implodes in spectacular fashion and the circumstances make it difficult to sympathise. While it’s understandable not all lead characters must be angelic, role models, it’s necessary for the narrative to have something for the reader to relate or latch on to and it will be interesting to see the direction Lieberman takes. Who knows, this may be the first step on the path to enlightenment for Benjamin Dane.
The premise for the series will no doubt attract readers. Yakuza run organ mills, rogue medical teams and a six year old drug fiend all sound lovely but we aren’t treated to anything ground breaking in the opening issue which is risky business if you want readers to return but there is more than enough potential here to explore the second issue. The issue is packed with high drama and some shocking visuals which are to be expected in a series about organ harvesting.
The shocking visuals are courtesy of Colin Lorimer who brings a moody and sharp tone to the book. The colouring is a monochrome style which makes use of swampy reds and greens which really pop off the page. It’s a very cinematic style with lots of facial close-ups to seize the raw emotion of these characters and all the heavy shading perfectly captures the consuming black hole of Dane’s life which he narrates that in life, “nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get worse”.
Harvest is a rough read. It’s corrupt front to back, there aren’t many good guys and its pages are stained with blood. Despite the malevolent nature of the book there is enough intrigue here to check out the next issue and fully explore the black market of bodily organs but ultimately the issue isn’t as mind bending as the solicitation would suggest.
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Art: 3 - Good