Australia Day Review: A Fractured Mind #1-#3

Serial killer books are, to coin a phrase, a dime a dozen. To make any headway there has to be something original about the story, whether it is characters or the hook. If it doesn’t have anything that really stands out then it has to be put together extremely well. Luckily for us, the latter is most definitely true, as least by the third issue.

Stephenson and Dutch are on the trail of the serial killer, known as the Crippler. The pair catch a break, when his most recent victim, Christie, manages to escape, call home and is safely ensconced in a hospital bed. Still all is not quite what it seems as there is the killer to catch, a battle for in play for Christie’s soul and for the curious, why was Stephenson actually suspended?

Writer/Creator James Gilarte is a self confessed geek from Sydney Australia who possesses an eye for embellishing what has gone before. In his creative hands these books, whilst not actually covering new ground, there is a quality to proceedings. The dialogue, which threatens to become clunky, manages to weave through the maze of cliché to bring the characters to life, therefore generating a level of interest from the reader.

The art is supplied by Purste for the whole run. Looking at the first issue, the art has a angular yet feel, with some strong elements, especially with the character’s faces. Frameworks tend to lean towards the dynamic poses which seem an unusual choice with a story that starts as a straight up detective story. As the story progress, Purste’s art improves as things take a turn towards mysticism and the devil inside. In fact, I had to double take as the art is dramatically different. It’s as if Purste is unsure of his own style and is therefore letting his influences take over. Moving forward, I would hope that Purste finds his feet as there is clearly a talented artist on show. Different colorists are on show and it show how impactful a colorist can be. Issue one with Ivan Plascenia offers a book that marks the book as digital colouring, whereas by issue three, Paris Alleyne offers a more mature palette.

Looking at the first book, I was a little nervous of the quality of both the art and the writing. By the end of the first issue I was quietly intrigued; by the end of the third issue I was quietly impressed. Gliarte and Purste have put together a book that wouldn’t be out of place amongst the titles of a book company such as Zenescope.

Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art (Overall) -3.5 Stars
Colors -3.5 Stars

By James Gilarte

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