Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: David O’Sullivan
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Review by Frank Lanza
I was born in the 70’s, raised a child of the 80’s, and grew up in a world where everything and everyone wasn’t literally available in the palm of your hand. I’ve watched my children grown up with technological wonders barely dreamt of when I was a kid. And despite the magic of instant gratification and connectedness its brought us, I can’t help but yearn for a less complicated, less intrusive world for my babies to grow up in. The heart of Analog really speaks to me on this subject. If we gave up all of these gifts of technology, what kind of lives would we lead? Well, according to Analog #2, a very bloody one full of copy machines.
To get you caught up, Analog tells the tale of Jack McGinnis. It’s the year 2024 and after The Great Doxxing, every scrap of information on any server anywhere became public knowledge. No secrets were spared; no browsing history was safe. The internet as a tool still existed, but you used it at the risk of zero privacy. Jack operates at the opposite end of the spectrum. For those that wish to stay off the grid, push their information with paper, facilitating transactions face-to-face.
While the first issue was mostly setup, Analog #2 is mostly action. The first half of the book is a shoot-out in Jack’s father’s home. Dad begs Jack not to shoot an assassin in the kitchen, not to spare his life, but so he doesn’t bleed out in the meatballs and sauce. Once the smoke clears, Jack is taken hostage by a mysterious figure who introduces herself as “Aunt Sam.” The implication is obvious, and the price Jack pays is he’ll now have to run all his offline business through one of the thousands of copy machines our government overlords have acquired to replace their intelligence losses. The issue ends with Jack’s girlfriend Oona getting tangled up in her own web of intrigue.
So far, Analog is hitting all the right notes with me. Government surveillance running rampant; the evils of technology bringing it all down low with a technopocalyse; clandestine operations that revolve around the trade of secrets. And Jack, well he’s a bastard you can’t help but root for, even when he’s getting drunk and shooting men down in cold blood. Gerry Duggan has carved out a unique premise here among a crowded field of similar offerings from Image. My only complaint might be that all the characters so far seem to be cut from the cloth. They’re all a bunch of disillusioned hard asses, full of piss and vinegar. I’ve yet to see any vulnerabilities truly reveal themselves, but I’m sure there’s more in store down the road.
O’Sullivan’s art is great for this kind of pulpy secret-agent work, even if it’s set in the near future. His characters are all gritty, angular and emotive, and his panels are cinematic and feel like they were shot through a wide-angle lens. And true to form for a book about a guy that conducts his business in the shadows, his use of blocky blacks in nearly every panel keep you wondering who might be listening, or lurking, to get the drop on Jack.
Verdict: Wait and See.
This is a tough verdict to deliver because this is very much a book I will be buying. Unfortunately, I think it’s a story I will want to devour an entire arc at a time, and with the current pacing and development of the story I’d prefer to do that in a trade than on a monthly basis. This is in no way an insult to the story or the creative team. I think Analog is going to be an entertaining story and I’m excited to see where it takes us. Just think twice before you buy it digitally, someone might be watching your spending habits.