By Bryan Edward Hill, Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono, Imam Eko, Jaka Ady, Comolo
After thinking BOOM! Studios Fence would be the only Manga-inspired comic from a major publisher I would see this year, along comes Hill and Marcellius cyberpunk, thrill-seeker Bonehead #1.
Although sparse on details, Bonehead introduces us to a world where people use cybernetic helmets (Boneheads) either for social media purposes or to help them in gang-related fighting. The first issue focuses on 56 and Aleph, a mysterious Bonehead user skilled in fighting and a genius level tech builder respectively. 56 communicates exclusively in emoticons, while Aleph talks non-stop as he observes his companion leaping through the bustling metropolis.
Per most dystopian tropes, the local government heavily monitors and polices its citizens and how they use technology. The main antagonists for this series appear to alternate between the local gangs and specially equipped bounty-hunters determined to take down 56 and his friend for jail-breaking their tech.
While Hill doesn’t give us alot of backstory for the characters, certain concepts are familiar enough to endear the book to readers. Outlaws using parkour in the future? Mirror’s Edge. Humans uses implants to become stronger? Ghost in the Shell, Lawnmower Man, Robocop, etc. It’s not as if Hill is deliberately imitating those other stories or Bonehead feels derivative, it’s that the Sci-Fi genre is so full that its hard for truly original concepts to be developed. The real key is taking what’s been done before, and using it in new ways.
The visuals created by Marcellius and Yuwono give us a gleaming, neon world brimming with technology. Marcellius has a clear, focused line not unlike Kevin Lau’s, while Yuwono’s colors remind me of Jordie Bellaire’s on The Manhatten Projects. The art is sleek, and shines literally on the page. Of course, I was reading the book on a tablet so that could have favored the art in a sense.
Bonehead #1 is a cannonball dive into a strange and intriguing world. 56’s hidden past, his goals, even his motivation are left to be revealed in a later issue but I’m still excited by that prospect. The execution has a slight Manga vibe to it, and I feel like anyone looking for a heavy science-fiction themed comic from Image will find much to like in this issue.
Disclosure: Publisher Image Comics provided a review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.