Story: Andy Diggle
Art: Aaron Campbell
What They Say:
Weaver is a man on the run. Gifted with the uncanny ability to steal knowledge and skills from other people, he found himself used as bait in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. Now it’s time for Weaver to turn the tables on the shadowy organization known as Cadre, as he begins his quest to find the source of his own powers.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I haven’t read the first series for Uncanny, but I was curious about this one as it came out since I happen like a number of Andy Diggle’s pas works. We do get a bit of a quick summary at the beginning of the book in the credits section as to what happened in the first series and it certainly sets a tone and lets you understand the basics of this world in that there are people who seemingly have abilities that cause them to be called “actives” by those wanting to exploit them, but thankfully (for me), this issue doesn’t pick up at the end of those events but rather takes us much further back in time in order to give us a bit of an origin story of our lead character of Weaver. And that makes this series instantly accessible while also making the first series even more attractive to new readers.
The book takes us back to 1979 where we’re introduced to a young boy named Bobby Lower, who is helping his father that’s in the midst of a bad situation having been shot by a “bad man.” While Bobby gets to help out, doing the cringe inducing thing of digging the bullet out of his father’s back, it doesn’t end well as his father ends up disappearing. This puts Bobby into the CPS system, which is what the bulk of the book follows. It’s here that we follow him throughout the years up until he’s near being an adult as he moves through different clinics and orphanages to deal with his problems. The problem, though, is that it’s not easy to identify what his real problem is. Bobby seems to get into a lot of issues and comes off as crazy at times, but what he discovers over the years is that he has the “uncanny” ability to absorb knowledge and skills of others by touch, to allow him to use them at their level.
While we hear about this second hand at a young age with the coin flip game that he masters off of another master player, you also sense his abilities can be taken from the area around him based on what he did for his father. But the clearest instance is during one of his psych hospitalization sequences where when a former combat medic that he’s friendly with gets attacked by another patient and critically injured. His trying to help her has him understanding what to do to help her and he does it, though to everyone else it just looks crazy what he’s doing and like he’s attacking her himself. But it’s at this point that Bobby starts to truly understand what he is, and seeing that coming into realization brings a different kind of calm about him, though there are some tense moments. His “escape” from the system is one that doesn’t get a lot of time spent on it, but it helps to formalize his moniker and the path he can take, setting up for the book to either keep exploring this the next time around or pick up where the first series left off. And both are intriguing possibilities.
Starting a second series without reading the first can be dicey as a lot of writers only think about moving forward with the existing audience and not enough to bring the new audience in. Andy Diggle does it right, for me at least here, by exploring Bobby’s past and making him a character I can empathize with and want to see where his life went after all of this. I suspect it fills in a lot of blanks for existing readers so it’s a positive for them as well, making this a well executed book from a story perspective. Diggle also works well with artist Aaron Campbell here as the story is brought to life in a gritty and grimy way that captures the feel of the time, places and the mental situation that Bobby is coping with. The pairing works well and there’s a good sense of understanding Bobby through the visual presentation, from his innocent childhood days to the days of being bullied through the system. Bringing it full circle with him striking out on his own with a different kind of confidence is strong and striking. I’m definitely looking forward to more of this series.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 1st, 2015