Victorie City #1, Infanticide is a harrowing new crime drama that is as much chilling as it is captivating. It was first described as Se7en in comic form but that may not be an entirely fair comparison. Though this book shares the same type of dark and gritty detective story it also has the potential and possibility to expand beyond that. Victorie City is entering a couple quickly growing genres being a noir with strong horror undertones. Genres where the competition is tough and names like Brubaker, Snyder, Seeley and Simone having a strong presence. Can this new title from publisher IDW compete? You bet. Sure it has some areas that could be buttoned up and refined but as far as first issues go this young team has something special with Victorie City.
Victorie City follows two story lines that are on a head first collision course. The first is our antagonist, a serial killer that brings a type of Southern Bastards meets Dexter vibe, minus the noble intentions. The introduction of this character comes in the form of a real messed up dialogue that will send chills down your spine and makes you realize that you may have encountered such a person in real life. The second is our protagonist, a noble detective named Hektor Ness who is one of the last honest cops in a precinct full of dirty colleagues (classic noir setup). Hektor reminds me very much of a young Jim Gordon from the Batman: Year One arc. These two characters are developed in a way that leads you believe that they will need each other in order to exist.
This series is the writing debut of Chicago resident Keith Carmack. Keith can now add talented writer to this resume which previously consisted of videographer and musician. Keith is part of an artistic publishing company 44Flood which was cofounded by comic creators Ben Templesmith and Kasra Ghanbari. You can also find Keith working at Chicago’s G-Mart comics which only enforces his passion for the medium. The book is illustrated by Vincent Nappi, a Florida based artist who has a very distinct sketch style using black, white and grey tones. Vincent has previously published a graphic novel entitled The Bordello: Sucker’s Game, as well as a collection of his fashion illustrations entitled Black & White. This duo’s talents comes together perfectly to create this dark and twisted crime thriller. As an added bonus Ben Templesmith also lends his hand to draw the first cover for this series
After one issue my opinion is that this has all the makings of a be a winning formula. The story is smart and thought out, while the dialogue avoids being trite or over the top. I really appreciate how Carmack develops the protagonist, he is very careful to give you a good feeling for who this character is and what he stands for without rushing anything. As for the antagonist, he did the opposite, leaving a lot of the character a mystery which I believe builds more suspense in this case. The only down side of the story was that I felt we were missing one page that tied the ending of the book to the rest of it. I understand why they did not think it was needed, but I felt it took away from the flow a bit.
The art is a fantastic compliment to the story. Nappi brings a gritty style that sets the mood for Carmack’s writing. The choice of colors were very minimal and kept the focus on the pencils and story. I was really impressed how everything flowed together, almost as if Carmack and Nappi were the same person. There was a few panels towards the beginning where Nappi’s style made it hard to make out what was going on. However, that very well may have been by design, because it also added to chaos of the panels.
Both complaints are very minimal and like I said, this is a first issue of two rather new creators who leave me with nothing but high expectations moving forward. If you like a good noir or just are always on the hunt for promising young talent, this may be the new book for you. You won’t be disappointed, just a little unsettled.