Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Keith Burns
Colored by Aikau Oliva
Lettered by Rob Steen
Cover Art by Tim Bradstreet
Published by Dynamite Comics
Release Date: 9/3/2014
Everything is Illuminated
Continuing with their line of creator-owned “Creators Unleashed” comic book campaign, this week Dynamite sees the release of the new series EX-CON, from writer Duane Swierczynski (Judge Dredd), and artist Keith Burns (Highland Laddie).
Set in the 1980’s, EX-CON tells the story of a man who goes by the name of Cody Pomeray, a name he got from a character out of a Jack Kerouac novel while hitching his way westward. Since he was a child, Cody (or Leroy which may be his real name) has had the ability to see people’s true colors in a manner of speaking. Not the result of masturbation like his father believed, his doctor explained that it may be a directly resulted to a case of “Color Synesthesia”, a condition that empowers him with this unique color cognizance that allows him to read people based on the color of light that irradiates from them. This is believed to be possible due to an increased grey matter in the left caudal intraparietal sulcus.
This power that Cody possesses was the most interesting part of this first issue, as this capability has through the years enabled him to figure out a person’s persona based on the color of light he sees. For example, orange meant weak, red meant lust, yellow represented a lie, greedy people showed green, dark grey was fear, etc., etc. Pomeray has used the lights to his advantage, allowing him to undoubtedly thrive with this superior knowledge.
Things finally catch up with him as he is set up after crossing a man by the name of Budd Waldo. He is incarcerated and sent to San Quentin for five years, and would have more than likely died in prison if it wasn’t for Barnaby Creed, also referred to as “The Pope”, who befriends Pomeray and offers him protection as long as he holds true on a favor after he is released from prison. I will not spoil the ending but there are obvious connections with people he knew before, during, and now after prison.
EX-CON #1 shines brightly with this first issue, as Duane Swierczynski has introduced us to a fascinating character to go along with an intriguing story that shows promise. The illustrations and colors Burns and Oliva deliver here work well. Burns does well by capturing that retro look and feel of the eighties, while Oliva’s choice of colors give the book a dark feel, which at the same time places greater emphasis on the lights (Pomeray’s power). Issue one was worth the read and should see readers coming back for the next chapter.
REVIEW: EX-CON #1
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)