Review - Mind the Gap #1

There aren't many comics that do the mystery, whodunnit thing. That's probably because it's really difficult to pull off. The writer has to know where they're taking it and have it all planned out, so there's no gaps. It's a pretty safe bet that Mind the Gap #1 won't have any of these problems.

Mind the Gap #1 is published by Image Comics. It's written by Jim McCann and illustrated by Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback. Exclusive covers are illustrated by Adrian Alphona and Christina Strain, with letters by Dave Lanphear.

The first issue focuses on Elle, who recently had an "incident" that landed her in a coma. The incident in question was a fall or bludgeoning on a train platform; the actual action seems to be the subject of debate among Elle's friends and family. It's implied there's a more sinister hand at work here, with a mysterious hooded stranger seemingly pulling the strings.

While Elle's loved ones are visiting her in the hospital, Elle is having an out of body experience with one Blake Robert Plangman. Bobby (as he likes to be called) welcomes Elle to The Garden, which seems to be the gap that the title of the comic refers to. Here, countless others are roaming who are in comas in real life, the ghosts of their conscience moving about.

There's one more layer of complexity at play between Dr. Geller and Dr. Hammond. Dr. Geller is called to attend to Elle when she's submitted, but Dr. Hammond is very keen on being the one who actually attends to her. Dr. Geller is suspicious and starts investigating Dr. Hammond, only she realizes that she may be getting in over her head the deeper she digs.

McCann's writing is pretty esoteric. All of those around Elle have different, intricate relationships with her and the issue shows that severe injury has a way of showing you who really cares about you. Clearly, there's more to Elle's injury than we know right now and McCann seems to enjoy weaving this web for the reader to get tangled in.

There's a nudging to solve something of a mystery with her possible assailant, but I'm not sure the series will play out like a whodunnit. There is a grander plan at play here and Elle is being manipulated. The ends of that manipulation is what's sure to be revealed in future issues. One of the most interesting parts of the book is the ending.

McCann threw in something of a twist at the end, perhaps emphasizing the aforementioned gap even more. The book seems to operate on two planes of existence: reality and The Garden. Watching those two planes intersect will be fascinating and will likely play a part in solving the mystery behind Elle's injury.

The art by Esquejo and Oback is very well done. The duo play with different panel layouts and finishes, adding in some blur effects with some panels. There's a great page where some of Elle's family is being introduced, where key members are shown on Polaroids with a little blurb about them written on the bottom. It's a really creative way to give the reader character background in an almost sentimental way.

There's a lot to like in Mind the Gap #1. McCann has crafted a mystery of sorts that operates on mutiple levels. There's a supernatural element to it in The Garden that could get out of hand if left unchecked, but as it stands right now it seems to be something more of a substory. It'll be interesting to see what really happened to Elle and the motivations behind the incident.

Mind the Gap #1 hits stores today and interiors are below.