Written by Ovi Demetrian Jr
Art by Jen Hickman
Chapter 1: Ghost in the Machine
With all the big publisher superhero and event titles that flood the summer comic stands, and a wide variety of alternative comics from numerous independent publishers, it’s no surprise that the smaller crowdfunded independent self-published books might sometimes get overlooked. Over the weekend I came across an intriguing new title, with LIFEHACKS #1 from Ovi Demetrian Jr (Hacktivity) and Jen Hickman (The Dead).
Lifehacks tells the story about a serial killer who after murdering his victims steals their digital identities by commandeering their social media accounts. Detective Lisa Adams has been assigned to the case, and tries to convince her superiors to allow a hacker to assist in the investigation. Our second protagonist is Joe Macintosh, the aforementioned hacker/private eye who has been penetrating the Philadelphia precincts systems, providing valuable information on the ongoing murder cases. It has not yet been revealed, but Macintosh has developed a computer algorithm that establishes matches between victims and suspects. Needless to say, the authorities are not entirely open to Detective Adams request of bringing Macintosh on board, causing conflict between her and others in the department.
Issue one immediately starts off with a life and then identity being taken, thrusting readers into this dark and violent thriller which then proceeds to set up the rest of the issue with really good character development and story-building. As much as I enjoyed his previous work, it is obvious that Demetrian is growing as a writer and storyteller. He continues to display a talent for integrating technology and social engineering into his scripts, giving this detective crime drama a more authentic contemporary feel.
Let me just say that I sometimes find it difficult to get into black and white only illustrations, the book usually has to be really compelling for me to see through this type of two-tone art. This is not a problem with Hickman, as her shadow punk style seems to be a perfect fit. Hickman exhibits great detail in her work, especially on the facial features with no two characters looking alike which can often be confusing and at times seems rather lazy. I had no problems distinguishing the subjects from one another, which believe or not is not always the case.
Lifehacks #1 shows incredible potential and has everything you want to see in an ongoing series. It contains riveting characters including this digital serial killer who we have yet to see, and there’s the mystery as to exactly what the motives are with stealing the victims identities. I found myself just absolutely fascinated with the plot. This comic has the look and feel of a title that I might pick up from BOOM! Studios or IDW and perhaps with the right amount of marketing and word of mouth, it has the potential to be one of this years biggest surprises.
To find out more about the series and the second issue, visit the Lifehacks Kickstarter page.
REVIEW: LIFEHACKS #1
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)