Choker issue 1. Review #1- Michael’s take

Published On March 26, 2010 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Choker issue 1

by Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith

Image Comics

Choker 1 Variant Choker 1 Cover

Choker – a detective story in a very Blade Runner-esque setting with plenty of science fiction, horror and some very, very dark comedy thrown in for good measure.  This book comes to you from newcomer Ben McCool and the already well-established Ben Templesmith. What we see in this issue is the story of an ex-cop turned private detective living a life he’s not particularly happy with being offered one more chance to get back to the job he thinks he deserves. This is a story that has been seen many times before but rarely in such a brilliant way.

McCool’s foul language and disgusting descriptions do not hide the fact that he’s an excellent writer. With writing that flows effortlessly and pushes the story forwards at a perfect pace his flowing dialogue could compete with the likes of Brian Michael Bendis.

Choker will no doubt draw comparisons with Fell due to the art and McCool’s style of writing but it’s funnier, darker and (hopefully) comes out on time and doesn’t just disappear from the face of the Earth. Yes, McCool might write like Ellis but more the on-form Ellis of Planetary, Desolation Jones, Fell and so on and not the stuff that generally just pours out of that big brain of his that Avatar puts into print. A name like Ellis’ is a license to print money in the comic book industry and if Ben carries on like this he could be on track to building the same sort of reputation.


The second Ben on Choker is a certain well-known artist by the name of Mr. Ben Templesmith. Now if you like his style, then you’ll struggle to find a piece of work that isn’t incredible. With Choker each panel looks like one of his signature covers and would look fantastic framed on anybody’s wall.  Using a mix of vivid colours in addition to his usual dark palette he brings Shotgun City and its characters to life, and sets the tone of the book perfectly.

This first issue is a must buy, a great introduction for what will hopefully be just the first of many Choker tales.  McCool has a bright future ahead of him and Templesmith continues on track with the brilliant career he has carved himself out as one of the industry’s leading artists in the alternative sector.

Michael Gee

Choker 1 and 2 might still be available, (second prints of both have been rush released) and the rest of the issues are here.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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