The stars align every so often. Mattson Tomlin and Lee Bermejo crafting a sci fi comic for Boom Studios is the comic lovers Sirius and Canopus. Two of the brightest stars in the sky, coming together to create the perfect sight. A perfect comic. A 10/10 masterpiece from the best artist in comics today and one of the best up and comers in the medium. Vicious Circle #1 is an experience that can only be described as the brightest star in the dark of night.
Writing By: Mattson Tomlin
Art By: Lee Bermejo
Letters By: Becca Carey
Release Date: December 14, 2022
The Dark Past
Mattson Tomlin knows progression. Tomlin knows narrative. For someone who has written exactly one other comic series, and has only been in the “business” of comics for just a few years, Tomlin is sky rocketing to the comic greatness stratosphere. With Vicious Circle #1, Tomlin puts aside what should or could happen in a story. What they decide instead is, the story goes beyond and could and should happen. Beyond expectations is the story of Vicious Circle. Tomlin goes beyond with his dialogue and story beats in this first book.
The character of Shawn Thacker is one of many levels. The levels that only reveal themselves page after page. The family man, who has a hidden life, a hidden future. The synopsis of Vicious Circle #1 tells a tale but the true story of the book, the true story is that of the sins of the future bleeding into the past. Assassins, time travel, racial issues, dinosaurs and family. Vicious Circle has numerous plot threads in the first book, but the prestige format and the progression of the story over the 50 plus pages lends to a perfect read.
The Bright Future
Lee Bermejo has precision. Bermejo has skill. Skill and precision unlike any artist working in comics today. There work on Vicious Circle #1 is an opus. A masterful telling of the perfect nature of one artists ability. The book turns incredibly well, even with the muted black and white pages (for 3/4 of the book anyways). Human nature and expressions are clear and conveyed in a way that as the reader, understanding what a character is feeling over what they are saying is easy to ascertain. The mystery in the story is made easier by the art.
There are family moments, there are fights and action, there is a bloody dinosaur. Vicious Circle #1 has everything. What comes to mind when a book like this comes out, a book that spans timelines and eras? What comes to mind is that a book like this would need more than one artist. Different styles may not mash up with everything that is in this book. What Bermejo does and why they is on another level. The style for the B&W (the past), and the color (the future) changes. An ever changing art when the story depicts change. Once the proverbial shit hits the fan story wise the art moves right along with it. When this story is slow and methodical, the art aligns perfectly.
Hype level is beyond the stars for Vicious Circle. Prestige Format and Lee Bermejo, Mattson Tomlin and creative freedom and narrative. All of this leads to a perfect first book. Beyond expectations, beyond the stars, beyond the future.