Hope for the Future is enjoyable but I'm a little uncomfortable with how reminiscent it is of Hellblazer
The trenchcoat goes with the period and the gumshoe genre, but if you're going to publish a comic about a magic detective with a sardonic wit and spirits who follow him around, maybe you don't give him blonde
hair? Even Carver Hale
had that thing over his eye*.
Like much of Dan Abnett's work, Hope
is a mixture of genres and cliches that aren't really my kind of thing, but the quality of execution and interesting subsidiary elements - in this case, the alternative history of US politics and Hollywood's golden age
- keep me entertained.
Broxton's unshowy artwork is fantastic; his clever use of repeating pattern and texture is more subtle than the overt symbology that overlays Hopey's derivative ruminations on the price exerted by magic, and suggests - in a less overt manner than the narration
- that there's more going on beneath the surface.
I'm almost certainly reading too much into gestural tics of the inking style, but the way patterns and textures repeat across characters' clothing, furniture, iron work, and landscape reminds me of the Great Beast of Northampton
's belief that Ditko was encoding every panel of Dr Strange
with his personal arcana.* Tharg thinks he's earning brownie points with Alan Moore by not letting other creators mess with Halo Jones, but when Moore walks into town to pick up the latest prog - his every step cheered by socially conscious market traders; adoring, ethnically diverse street urchins, thrusting copies of Promethea under his nose to be autographed; and old grannies congratulating him for sticking one to the Tory government and Northampton Town Council (for are they not one and the same?) with the latest issue of The League Of Extraordinary gentlemen - he must wonder why the Galaxy's Greatest keeps giving British creators a chance to show DC what a great job they could do writing the adventures of John Constantine.
Then he thrusts a £20 note into the hand of a tramp, buys a veggie ready meal from Marks and Spencer, and walks home to build a ten-skinner while he waits for the microwave to go >ping<