Review - Bonehead #1 (@imagecomics)

"Since you're going for the crazier stunt, be careful."

Just about everyone's vision of the future includes some form of dystopian nightmare and flying cars. The world of the Chrome in Bonehead #1 from Image Comics is generally no exception. The issue is written by Bryan Hill and illustrated by Rhoald Marcellius.

In a near future, a sprawling megalopolis sees the rise of “Boneheads” parkour-gangs that use neuro-linked helmets to augment their abilities and live for the thrill of physical risk. As a gang war threatens to tear the city apart, a mysterious Bonehead rises, a man with no past that might be the key to saving the city's future.

It would be easy to write off Hill’s script in Bonehead #1 as a cross between Judge Dredd and Blade Runner, but that’s not really doing the story any justice. Hill is more interested in the technological aspect in the story as his characters seem to emphasize a social media mentality. Bonehead is a character who thrives on challenge and broadcasting overcoming challenge—something very much in line with the Twitch and YouTube approach today. Much of the issue is essentially a race against a ghost challenger, but that race still allows Hill to effectively introduce his world to the reader and the players in it. The end of the issue sets up enough of a conflict where the reader isn’t sure if they should root for Bonehead or the authorities.

Marcellius has an artistic style that’s extremely slick and fast-moving. The Chrome is illustrated with less attention paid to the city environs and more on its ability to serve as a playground of sorts for Bonehead and his cohorts. Marcellius illustrates each character with detailed line work that give the book a feel that it’s set in the future. There's a sense of frenetic energy throughout the issue that Marcellius captures with an emphasis on the characters and a sense of kinetic motion. Just about everyone wears a mask in the book as well and Marcellius relies on that to enforce a message about anonymity while broadcasting oneself to the world. The book is colored vividly despite the darker palette; each character has a distinct color to their wardrobe that makes them easily identifiable.

Bonehead #1 thrusts the modern world of broadcasting social media into the future as even more of a spectacle. Bonehead is clearly at the top of game, although there are some in the Chrome who can match up with him for sheer audacity. Hill allows the pace of the issue to move non-stop, barely letting the reader catch their breath and catch up. The artwork by Marcellius is gorgeous, showcasing a very clean and slick take on the future of individual broadcasting.

Bonehead #1 is available now.