Johnny Nemo

New London of 2921 is a crowded, filthy slime-pit awash with Death-Juice junkies, Latin-spouting armored fascists, exploding nuns and a religious cult who worship Bing Crosby’s left testicle. It’s also home to ultra-violent, foul-mouthed private eye Johnny Nemo – a streetwise PI who deals in death… and simple solutions to complex problems!

This classic, remastered collection features never-before-seen art and is the crowning glory of award-winning writer, Peter Milligan (All-New Doop, Hellblazer, Shadowman) and artist Brett Ewins (Bad Company, Skreemer).

This graphic novel features a main character whose selling point is the fact that he’s unlikable. I think the idea here is to be edgy and refreshing, a break away from the other types of comics (at least, judging from the author’s introduction, this is the impression I got). Johnny Nemo seems a little like a throwback to the punk era, only pushed into the future. This is a very British landscape, making a point to have characters with various British accents written into their speech. It’s also a harsh landscape, rife with danger and drugs and exploding nuns. Johnny’s attitude is one of being nastier than every other nasty thing, and he pulls it off successfully throughout the stories told in the collection – however, this doesn’t make him a relatable or particularly enjoyable protagonist.

Peter Milligan has previously written for the Hellblazer title, and I think that shows in this work. There’s a little bit of John Constantine in Johnny Nemo’s forced punk attitude – a nod I appreciated as a Hellblazer fan, but wasn’t sure I was feeling as a new reader to this title.

Like other graphic novels, the art here is very black and white. It’s also very flat, which at times I found almost confusing. There are a lot of lines in various directions. While the art isn’t bad art – it’s a very unique style, which IS refreshing when you compare it to so many male fantasy superhero comic styles – it’s just very busy. That fits the tone of Johnny’s world very well, but I found it hard to stare at for a full length graphic novel.

To me, there are themes here that throwback to the 80’s, both in terms of style and storytelling. This is a noir comic turned punk. It’s executed successfully, though ultimately isn’t my cup of tea. Anyone looking for something that really is quite different from mainstream should enjoy this title.

Check Titan’s website to find more about this title, and to purchase it either digitally or in print!

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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