Advance Review: Uncanny #1 By Andy Diggle
SIX BILLION SKILL SETS. ONE LAST CHANCE.
Weaver is unique, or so he thinks. Born with an uncanny ability, he can steal other people’s skills – their memories, abilities, and expertise – for a limited time. A man with a power like that could change the world; but as a professional gambler, con-man, and thief-for-hire, Weaver prefers to look out for number one. That is, until he finds himself drawn into a dangerous game of international intrigue where the rules keep changing, the players are hidden… and the first thing he stands to lose is his life. And maybe, just maybe, he isn’t so unique after all…
Dynamite has started to offer up new crime stories like the recent Red Team by Garth Ennis. Well the second story is out today with the release of Uncanny #1. The story is written by Andy Diggle with art from Aaron Campbell. Bill Crabtree handles colors and Simon Bowland tackles lettering. Uncanny takes your average crime story and gives it a twist by giving our protagonist an…uncanny ability. Does the book deliver or is the book itself a crime? There are some spoilers in the next paragraph, so proceed with caution.
The story takes place in Singapore. Our main character, Weaver, is in a casino playing poker with some very high stakes. Weaver thinks Mr. Lee is bluffing. In fact, he’s positive he is. Because he’s so good at what he does, Weaver raises by two hundred and fifty thousand. The cards are flipped and Weaver loses. He’s shocked. He read Lee before they sat down. Now he owes a lot more money than he has. He barely has enough to buy a plane ticket. [Highlight next area to read] Mr. Lee’s head of security escorts Weaver to his room so he can collect the money he owes him. Back at his room, Weaver doesn’t have a lot of options. He “reads” the head of security. That means he looks inside his head and knows everything about him. His abilities are Weaver’s abilities. Just by simply touching him, he knows everything about the man. Luckily for Weaver, the head of security is a black-belt in Taekwondo. Hightailing it out of the casino, Weaver makes a mad dash as he tries to escape. Can he make it out of the country alive? Who is the mysterious woman following him? Has Weaver found himself in something much bigger than simply dashing out on a debt?
Diggle writes a fantastic script. There are a several familiar elements to the story, but it gets a big twist with Weaver’s ability to borrow people’s skills and read their minds to find out all about them. He could easily be doing bigger and better things, but he’s a two-bit conman who uses his abilities to make money. It’s a quick action-packed story. If it was a movie, the final page would be when the opening theme started blaring. The first issue offers up a complete meal, but it’s largely a teaser. Campbell’s art is great. He really presents some great characters and scenery. Crabtree uses a more subdued pallet. He keeps everything grounded and really elevates Campbell’s art.
Bottom Line: Uncanny starts out strong and shows Dynamite is doing big and exciting things with their crime line. Diggle serves up a great story that gets you excited for what’s next. It feels very much like an opening scene of a big movie, but you feel more than ready to see what happens when things really get going. 5/5