Review - The Living Finger #1 (@DarbyPopComics)

"It's a finger."

Prestidigitation is a really fancy way of saying magic tricks performed as entertainment. Part of the reason for that word meaning that is the "digit" in there, referring to the fingers ability to manipulate something to great visual effect at the control of the magician. What if the digits can think for themselves though--as they do in The Missing Finger #1 from Darby Pop Publishing. The issue is written and lettered by Garth Matthams and illustrated by Armin Ozdic.

When well-meaning Jason discovers a disembodied finger that appears to be "alive," it quickly becomes the sole focus of his life. He names the digit "Wendy," learns to communicate with it via "tap code," and discovers that the one thing Wendy wants more than anything else is a living, breathing human body to attach to.

From the outset, Matthams impresses upon the reader that The Living Finger #1 is sufficiently creepy. The core concept of finding a living finger is strange in and of itself, but Matthams goes the extra mile in giving it a conscience and free thought. The script plays out in pretty credible fashion as well when faced with such a find, as Matthams offers two characters who offer different perspectives. Jason is a lot more open-minded about the whole thing, but his friend Trevor takes a more skeptical approach that likely mirrors that of the reader. By the end of the issue its revealed that there's something more sinister about the finger and Matthams builds up to that reveal pretty organically.

Ozdic's artwork takes a no-frills approach and echoes the simplicity of the lead character. Jason and Trevor are drawn pretty plainly, defined by clean, concise lines amidst relatively sparsely rendered backgrounds. The finger itself is illustrated with enough vivacity that the reader can readily believe that it has a mind of its own. And considering the work is about a severed finger, Ozdic doesn't drown the book in gore to accomplish that presentation. His colors are pretty relaxed as well, making a statement about the seemingly mundane lives of the characters who suddenly find themselves in the care of a severed finger.

The Missing Finger #1 is a story that one could easily see as being an episode of The Twilight Zone. Jason gets in deeper and deeper with something curious and finds that his curiosity may ultimately end up being his undoing. Matthams' script is easy to read and gets right to it, relying on a slow-burning suspense to propel the narrative. The artwork by Ozdic is equally as unassuming, giving the reader a plain look at the relatively mundane aspects of most people's lives prior to stumbling upon a free-thinking finger. The Missing Finger #1 is a pretty weird story that promises to get even weirder as it progresses.

The Living Finger #1 is available now.