Liege-Killer: The Graphic Novel by Christopher Hinz and Jon Proctor
Angry Robot, pb, £12.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
Binaries are a genetically modified species, two bodies telepathically linked by one mind. Paratwa Assassins are a breed of Binaries created to rule humanity and kill any resistance. But a nuclear apocalypse saved humanity from the Paratwa, forcing them to flee Earth for orbital colonies where technology is strictly limited, and wiping out the Binaries.
After two hundred years since leaving Earth, humanity is unprepared when the greatest of the Paratwa, Reemul, awakens from his hiding place and begins a series of seemingly random murders. But the colonies are not defenceless, Nick Smith and Gillian Jones are Paratwa hunters from the same time period, also frozen in stasis for a time when the Paratwa returned. Gillian blames Reemul for the death of his wife and must stop Reemul before they find relics from the past which will help them find others like themselves and guide them back to earth.
Proctor’s panels build a world that is both clean and sterile, futuristic without the accompanying technology, which is only for the affluent, and a darker, neglected underside for those at the bottom of society. It reminded me of Bladerunner in the style and darkness. The panels follow a logical order without merging into one another, making it easy for the unfamiliar to follow the story. Proctor also has a distinctive style, almost pop art, which focuses on the characters and their emotional development, an important element as Gillian comes with a lot of baggage.
The original novel was the first in a series and the graphic novel version has caught my interest. I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t see the twist until it happened, which is what you want from a story. I want to see the rest of the series in graphic novel format, but it’s also made me want to hunt out the original. Christopher Hinz’s words with Jon Proctor’s pictures create a darkly atmospheric futuristic story about loyalty and loss. Definitely a must for any fans of advanced AI technology.