Writer: Mike Carey
Artist(s): Jock, Lee Loughridge (c)
Publisher: DC / Vertigo
At the center of Carey and Jocksí Faker is the question of identity. By focusing the story around four (possibly five) post-adolescent college students, the story has brought up questions of how humans identify themselves and the process we go through in order to make that determination. It touched on the facts that while humans are largely products of our origins, the decisions we make also play a huge role in shaping who we are. In this latest issue, physical presence as a component of identity is touched on. After all, if you disappeared and all evidence of your existence vanished, whoís to say you ever existed at all?
While the strange occurrences surrounding Fakerís protagonists has revolved around Angelís Kiss, the liquid hard drive experiment that was brought to the college at St. Cloud, in this issue much more is revealed about the side effects, or quite possibly the intended effects, of the compound. While going into that might spoil it, what many readers have already suspected becomes clear; somehow, Nick is a product of the Angelís Kiss, a sort of conglomerate human. Born out of an eveningís camaraderie between good friends, he seems to represent the best in all of them, or at least the best from that friendship.
However, this also means that Nick isnít human in the strictest sense of the word. Without the supposed inalienable rights the rest of us have, that pretty much leaves him as a tinkertoy for the scientists that inadvertently created him. As with much of the story, this brings out an interesting new theme; that of how our physical presence plays a roll in identity. If someone can strip you of your rights, unlawfully imprison you, do they not control your identity? To some extent, the answer is yes. However, as the character Jessie Kidby demonstrates, the answer in some cases is a resounding no.
Unfortunately, this last part, while definitely an interesting component to the story, is also where it fails to some extent. The breakout from the government facility that Jessie leads has just one too many flaws for the continued suspension of disbelief. While it may be possible for a bite to the lip to produce sufficient blood to appear as a deadly wound, or that a college girl could overpower a trained soldier, or that a modern government cell might still use keys that look like they came out of a western, when these things pile on top of each other, they really are just too much for this reviewer to be able to believe the story anymore.
While the action in the latter half of this book brings down the entire issue, it does not bring down the Faker story as a whole. The developments brought forth regarding the Angelís Kiss here make for some interesting possibilities for the coming issues, particularly with #4ís cliffhanger ending.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com
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