Writer: Ace Masters
Publisher: Masterpiece Comics
This was not a #0 issue. Zero issues are supposed to have character introductions (and sometimes not even that completely) and little else. They are supposed to have the said character sitting (or standing) around doing nothing more than catching up on the good old times, or depending on their current condition, the bad old times. They aren’t supposed to have an actual story, or in this title’s case, an actual adventure. It seems that no one gave that memo to the creative team of Fireblast: Adventures in the 30th Century #0, and I for one am thankful for that.
First things first, seeing as it is set in the year 3001, this series should have 31 instead of 30 as the century number in its title, shouldn't it? After all this is the year 2007 but the century is the 21st.
The Fireblast in the title comes from Fireblast Investigations which is the spanking new investigative agency of the main protagonist of the series, the man who puts the Fire in Fireblast, Mack Fire. A single, in his late 20s-early 30s, man, Mack lives in a high rise apartment. As with any good "rented apartment" setting, this one too has its very own sneaky-snarky, slightly eccentric landlord filling in the clichéd but somewhat evergreen role of perpetually riding the hero’s behind. With a bomb exploding in Mack’s apartment (an attempt on his life), apartment manager angry-man gets a chance to blow up on our hero, only have an account chip (a future version of the credit card) shoved at him.
Starting the day with a bomb, Mack’s next problem comes in the form of a sniper attack he barely escapes. Thanks to Perfecta (his holographic companion-computer-etc), all Mack gets is a single elbow wound, which is healed soon enough, thanks to the medical advancements existing in the 31st, sorry, 30th century.
As for Perfecta, it is not clear what sort of a relationship dynamic Mack shares with her. Not only is she his alarm clock, his computer database, his internet, possibly his security, there also might be more to their…, well…, relationship. This doubt comes from a comment made by Alina, a "human" female character, and a query made by Perfecta a few panels after. Whatever the status quo, I am sure it will be dealt with in future issues.
The last quarter of the issue deals with the hit out on Mack. It is revealed that this hit wasn’t taken out on this particular Mack Fire but for "A" Mack Fire. In an interesting twist, it is the assassin, Harold October, himself who makes this revelation to Mack. Talk about capitalism in killing.
All seems to be fine, right until the last closing panel, and the shadowed person appearing in it.
Onto the art and although a bit rough around the edges, artist Nichx seems to be more than adept at creating the futuristic setting and the characters in it. As this is the first issue (even if it is numbered zero), I didn’t mind the roughness and hope that as the series progresses, as Nichx becomes more comfortable with the characters the visuals will become more smooth and uniform. That said, I found the surroundings and backgrounds sparse and sorely needing some working on. I understand that it is supposed to be the far future, but come on, put some life in it.
Conclusion: A good enough first read, this series has an interesting if not original plot premise going for it. A possible futuristic Dick Tracy? Sure, why not, especially if the creative team can maintain the undercurrent of humor that I got while reading this opener.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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