‘No. 1 with a Bullet #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In the blink of an eye, life can forever be altered with the eternal click of social media. No. 1 with a Bullet astutely captures segments of the real world by identifying moments in the life of main character, Nash Huang, where privacy conceptually doesn’t coincide with an online presence. It’s a relevant question in today’s society: Where do we draw the line with regards to people’s privacy, as we further technological advancements? In even simpler terms, are people allowed to have a conversation, even online, and expect a certain level of privacy, or decency, when being responded to?

Image Comics is scheduled to release the first issue of this series on Wednesday, November 1, from writer Jacob Semahn and artist Jorge Corona, along with colorist Jen Hickman, letterer Steve Wands, and editor Erin Levy. This story has already gained attention from Clive Barker, as he’s quoted on Image, “A sublime piece of futurism that is both entertaining in its absurdity and terrifying in its predictions.”

Barker is absolutely correct. Writer Semahn depicts what seems to be a not-too-distant future, if it hasn’t already arrived – with unwanted responses on social media, sharing private emails, and contact lenses that can alter reality, play videos, and record what’s happening around you. The imagery by artist Corona twists reality, as a studio audience is transformed into shadowy figures, with gaping, toothy smiles, laughing at Nash’s experience while wearing the contact lenses. Who wouldn’t get freaked out over a faux murder scene?

Varying sized panels, sometimes overlapping, highlight her busy life as assistant to news host Jad Davies, while also emphasizing how social media is ever-present in her day-to-day activities – even on a date night with her girlfriend. The artwork, which transforms an audience into a horde of creepy monsters, plays a significant role at identifying a potential problem for Nash as the story continues.

The first issue of No. 1 with a Bullet absolutely reminds us of the world we live in, with a constant gaze crammed into some kind of electronic device, paying attention to a world of strangers, while also being pulled into a scandal, or two, that we don’t quite yet know the full extent of details or ramifications. These “iRis Shutter” lenses will prove to be another bridge to the real world, especially with last year’s application approval, as “Sony patents contact lens that record what you see.”

Semahn does a great job of introducing the main character, displaying her tenacity as she deals with her overbearing boss about staying at work after hours, or changing the subject when she’s late for a date or seeing friends. Her ability to craft a snappy retort will definitely be something to keep an eye on leading into the second issue, as the first chapter involves a very personal video being leaked. It’s an intriguing story, with a familiar premise, and it will be interesting to see if Nash’s stance on privacy changes moving forward – and if this leak is aimed to cover up something else entirely.

No. 1 with a Bullet #1 is now available for pre-order.

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