The Divided States of Hysteria #1

WRITER: Howard Chaykin
ARTIST: Howard Chaykin
COLOURS: Jesus Aburtov
LETTERING: Ken Bruzenak

In a not too distant future, the American president and most of his cabinet have been assassinated in a failed coup. A world in disarray, CIA operative Frank Villa senses another imminent threat to Washington looming.

Dark in tone and graphic in scenery, The Divide States of Hysteria is not a comic for any who would shy away from the darker side of humanity. Bordering between surreal and all too real as it takes us on its ominous journey, the tale leaps from one character to the next, quickly running through a cast of some of the society’s filthiest lowlifes before transitioning to the next miscreant.

Our central character is quickly revealed to be less than the upstanding operative that one may expect of a member of the CIA, which lends further to the story’s grit, and I look forward to seeing the connections between the secondary characters. That said, in as politically divided a world as we live in, some readers may read the book as a political stance as opposed to a comic, especially upon reading the post-story comments.

Visually, there is a lot going on throughout the comic as Chaykin’s detail work is quite impressive. I found myself going back over some panels more than once to try to make out the finer details and investigate the overlaid images. It made me appreciate the bonus pages at the end that showcased the process between Chaykin art and Bruzenak lettering even more.

Check out this title at Image Comics

RATING (1-5): 4

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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