Ryan Lindsay is setting out to be the new name in crime comics. You might recognize his name as editor for the Sequart book The Devil is in the Details, which was all about the Marvel character Daredevil (also a character that has a long standing history of crime stories).
There are a lot of attempts to re-write the crime novel and / or comic book. Beyond Elmore Leonard, crime in fiction has a deep, storied history. In comic books alone, writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and Greg Rucka have all made a career from it. Ryan K. Lindsay’s debut comic with Action Labs is a work that perches Lindsay closer to Rucka and Brubaker than he may even know.
As with any crime story, there are a lot of moving parts, a feat to which Lindsay is quite smooth at. We are thrown into the scene immediately, then given time to catch up after the first few pages. The reader is introduced to Nate Lawson, who finds things people left behind in Hades (which is the nickname for the bombed out area of Washington DC). Nate is trying to talk his friend into helping him get inside Hades so he can recover this unnamed item. There is something affable about Lindsay’s Nate that the reader will enjoy right away. He is relatable and a stand-up-enough guy to root for. This all alone is story enough for a comic, but Lindsay is trying to give you a damn fine story and not just glide by.
To help flesh out the danger and story we are introduced to crime kingpin Tyrell, who reads like Walter White and Suge Knight had a kid. But don’t count Tyrell as cheap caricature. He is a complex character with a need for power. He is a character after something; he seems to have more in common at times with modern America than anything. Tyrell, throughout the issue, talks constantly about his wants (be it for power, respect, or just a ring) in such a way you can almost feel his hunger.
Now, this is not just Lindsay’s words making this comic move. To this end, Daniel Logan is a great find. His lines and action are expression without being cartoonish or cliche. The characters seem to move and act on the page. Logan’s characters all have a look that is their own. The reader will have no problem knowing who is who on the page.
Overall, this is a comic book, and a series, to read. Also, keep your eyes on both Lindsay and Logan who seem to be taking off right now. I imagine we’ll be seeing both their names on a lot of future projects, and I, for one, cannot wait.