Review - Control #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"Only thing you control is how you get there. Quick or slow."

A detective's life is one rife with paperwork and self-doubt. There are times when you think you made the right call and other times when the situation tends to get away from you. For Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham though, there's plenty of opportunity for the latter as in Control #1 from Dynamite Comics. The issue is written by Andy Diggle and Angela Cruickshank, illustrated by Andrea Mutti, colored by Vladimir Popov and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham isn't making any friends in the Washington DC Police Department. That makes her the perfect scapegoat when a routine homicide investigation threatens to blow open a criminal conspiracy that reaches to the upper echelons of the DC power elite. Kate makes it go away, or they make her go away. Cop or criminal, power is all about control, applied top-down from the penthouse elite to the hustlers on the street. But what happens when the street pushes back...?

Diggle and Cruickshank waste no time in trying to suck the reader into the thick of things. In fact, the issue starts off with a pretty standard murder scenario, but Diggle and Cruickshank have a lot more in mind for Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham as she navigates the politics of Washington, DC and her police force. The duo pace the story incredibly quickly, getting the set-up out of the way fast and diving right into the meat of the story itself. And Kate's backstory is getting enough attention paid to it where the reader can start making inferences about her decision-making which will definitely have an impact on the direction of the story down the line. Diggle and Cruickshank clearly want to draw upon the scandal inherent in Washington, DC, to further the narrative in a very intriguing way.

Mutti's artwork is wonderfully understated, fitting within the confines of the police procedural tale being crafted. Characters sport a general lack of detail throughout that adds to the notion that there are great mysteries in everyday life beyond the ones police solve. Mutti's characters are very expressive with their hands and facial expressions, reinforcing the prevailing sentiment on the page. The use of extensive cross-hatching also add a vague sense of foreboding--Mutti and the reader both know that things are going to get worse as they progress, but her artwork reinforces that notion. Popov takes this sense of dread one step further by largely relying on gray and black tones.

From the outset, Control #1 is tapping into a familiar narrative of the police procedural. Detective-Sergeant Kate Burnham is a no-nonsense detective who's getting into a case that might be a lot more than she originally thought. Diggle and Cruickshank offer a script that plays out pretty familiar in the beginning of the tale, but clearly has grander ambitions at heart. Mutti's artwork is pretty simple yet effective at conveying the guillotine hanging over the characters. Control #1 is a very strong first issue that's laying the groundwork for something much more sinister.

Control #1 is in stores now.