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Repo #1 (of 5)

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2007
By: Matthew McLean



Writer: Rick Spears
Artist: Rob G

Publisher: Image Comics


If the opening caption (which states the locale of this story as "The Sprawl") and the hover car that looks like a Cadillac aren’t enough to tip you off, the introduction on the inside cover is kind enough to make one thing very clear: this is a cyberpunk story. If hover cars, amoral anti-heroes and a dystopian future are your thing, then this is the book for you. Go buy it; you’ll have lots of fun.

KD and Emil are professional collateral managers, which is a fancy way of saying that they are repo men. However, in the future they live in, being a repo man is a dangerous enough occupation that it more resembles bounty hunting than it does working for a creditor. Death is an ever present possibility when dealing with people who would prefer to booby trap their possessions than give them up. Throw in a police battalion that has no qualms with causing civilian casualties (that means you) and you’ve got a pretty exciting, hazardous and lucrative occupation.

The one downside to Repo is that, while the window dressing tells us that we are in The Future, the goods on display actually say we are in the 20th century. KD and Emil, as Emil points out on one occasion, are a walking cliché from an action buddy movie. From the slang they use to the way they relate to each other, it’s all something you’ve seen before and feels more at home in Lethal Weapon than it does in The Future.

Putting that aside, though, there are very promising tidbits in this first issue that suggest that may change. There’s mention of a Clone Liberation Army, a nihilistic competitor and a couple of Chinese brothers that feel like they stepped right out of a William Gibson story. And, of course, what good cyberpunk story would be complete without an evil corporate overlord that is bound to run into our heroes?

While Repo isn’t the most original story, particularly in the characterizations of its protagonists, and it doesn’t claim to be. It tells the reader right up front that, “this is the future they promised us,” all nasty pollution, violence and social disparity. If you’ve been jonesing for a fun cyberpunk adventure then Repo is the place to find it.

If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the author’s work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com



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