Page 45 Review by Stephen
London, late at night, by the banks of The Thames. As the cold, dark waters lap against the quayside, a solitary man stares across its rippling surface at the floodlit Quinn Industries Tower, opposite...
Still that opening sequence impresses me like few others. It has to be one of the finest first three pages in comics, neatly setting the tone whilst hooking you with its implicit questions. And visually it is so, so beautiful.
Kanan's art has now reached perfection. I've always loved his evenings in the woods (EXIT), his sun-bleached summer meadows (LOST GIRL), his architecture (BIRTHDAY RIOTS) and those subtle facial expressions that say so much whilst the characters stay schtum. But the occasionally brittle nature of the lines has now mellowed to some more relaxed, just-so flicks of the brush, whilst the tonal composition of each page - with the warmest greys you can imagine - is as masterful as his smooth figure work and those gorgeously hooded eyes.
Meanwhile the dialogue is as pert as ever, as Mrs. Quinn, with her expensive blonde hair, sits in her expensive country mansion, and tries to phone her very rich husband whilst having another go at their badly paid housemaid:
"Question: what's wrong with this bottle?"
"It... it's empty."
"Good girl. [to the handset] Come on, you son of a bitch... pick up!"
"Hello? Oh, hi Kate! Ow! My ear! I know. I'm sorry. I just couldn't get away. You know the company's been having problems lately and..."
"It's after midnight, you total shit! It's our bloody anniversary! Or it was. Since technically it's now the day after! Who works late on their wedding anniversary? I prepared a lovely candlight meal and everything."
"You mean Rosa prepared it..."
Love the next panel, as James Quinn winces away from what is obviously a blistering barrage of expletives.
There's also an outrageous sequence later on with Mrs. Quinn sitting cross-legged and insouciant on her housemaid's back, smoking a cigarette whilst Rosa, on her hands and knees, cleans up a broken vase of roses.
So what is James Quinn doing working late at night on his wedding anniversary, staring back across The Thames himself? Well, it's not just Quinn Industries that's dead in the water... Two men are haunted by a girl called Emily: James Quinn and Dr. Steven Green. She rises from the river with a gun in her hand. But it's their consciences that are at work here, whilst a young girl called Hayley, in debt to the wrong people, will end up getting caught in the middle, and everyone's going to make a raft of mistakes before they end up drowning in deep waters, victims of their own selfish desires.