Discovering you have powers can go one of two ways; you can revel in it, live a life of doing good and earning a restful sleep at night OR you can try to help and be reviled and need Mr Jack Daniels help to make it past the quiet corners of the night.
For Ray Pilgrim, it is most definitely the latter. Discovering he has the power of “remote viewing”; after taking a trip on magic mushrooms, he tries to use his powers for good, after witnessing a horrific crime. Of course, no one believes him and this leads him into his own personal hell of which we get hints of. Now, with the fruit of his loins providing an editorial which serves as the actions he hasn’t taken, Ray finds himself drawn back into the psychic world.
Created and written by Brit David Hine, this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, with the main crimes Ray, and his daughter Toni, are trying to stop being child abuse. Hine uses monologue and implication to get the message across, all the while leading us through both curiosity and concern to the final pages. Ray Pilgrim has a world weary look about him, that we seen quite a few times on reluctant heroes from John Constantine to Peter Parker, and touches on some standard clichés. There is evidence of past drug use and current alcohol abuse. Still, Hines writes with a way that intrigues, starting the book in way that leaves you always trying to play catch up.
Alberto Ponticelli provides the art for the book, giving it real world feel, despite its somewhat second world element. This is the first time I have seen Ponticelli’s work and I have to say, it suits the book well. Looking at it critically, I would say it is reminiscent of Klaus Janson’s work, with maybe cleaner lines and stronger facial elements. Speaking of faces, on a couple of panels, there seems to be a Greg Capullo vibe thrown into the mix, as such, the style don’t always mix well. Panels are well structured, full of background details which helps make this world recognizable. Colors are by John Kalisz who again seems to be on the same page as Hine and Ponticelli, creating a level of darkness that mirrors Pilgrim to the point that Toni and his ex-wife’s brightness act as a contrast to the life Ray could have had.
This book, seems like a very British affair, with London its focus. It s good to see a realistic version of London appearing on a comic, albeit a potentially darker version. Reading this book, I can’t help but be reminded of the original run of Hellblazer, especially with how this book feels. Granted, Ray and John are in totally different places, by choice and circumstance, but there is a resonance, that will appeal to fans of that long lamented book.
STORY BY David Hine
ART BY Alberto Ponticelli
COLORS BY John Kalisz
LETTERS BY Comicraft – Jimmy Betancourt
COVER BY Alberto Ponticelli
PUBLISHER AfterShock Comics