Likely one of my nerdiest secrets is my fascination with Steampunk culture. I don’t cos-play or read steampunk fan-fiction; nothing that dorky, but I do find scene interesting. Anything based off the works of Jules Verne can’t be all that bad, right?
So I naturally took an interest in Dynamites latest entry into their steampunk universe, The Precinct. This 5-part mini-series written by Frank Barbiere (Howling Commandos of SHIELD) and artist Crizam Zamora (Swords of Sorrow: Black Sparrow). Two creators whose work, I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing before this comic.
The Precinct takes place in the Big City, which was the backdrop for much of Dynamite’s Legenderry run. As is common in a large metropolis, crime is an issue. Fortunately, the good citizen’s of Big City have officer Mort Hill on duty. When the mysterious murder of a high ranking city official by the cruel metal hands of a mechanical monster shakes the streets; Hill is tasked with solving it. Much to his chagrin, he’s forced to share the responsibility with a head strong beauty from a magical order called the Alchemy Academy. What ensues is a mix of magic, police procedural, and humor deserving of any serial short of the 1940s.
As is the case, if all Steampunk outings, this is created for a specialized reader. Which is a bummer, because it’s a rather fun read, nothing that astonishes, but solid cover to cover. Barbiere’s narrative has a agreeable flow and Zamora’s art is first-rate. My only complaint and I’m being nit-picky here, despite it’s appeal, some developments in the story tilted too heavily in the direction of conventional for me. I doubt most readers will even notice this, after all, Steampunk is rooted in the classics, so a tip of the old-hat is to be expected. All told, issue 1 of The Precinct is a solid buy this week for anyone who aspires to have an mechanical arm and travel by Whyte Notation.