John Flood #1 launches an intriguing new series with an original and compelling protagonist, who never sleeps.
WRITTEN BY: Justin Jordan
ART BY: Jorge Coelho
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: August 5, 2015
The titular character from which the series gets its namesake is John Flood. John doesn’t sleep, 10 years ago someone experimented on his brain looking to remove the need to sleep. They succeeded, but not without side effects. John’s eyes look permanently demonic and more importantly he lives in a constant dream state. The world appears to him like an insane funhouse mirror with reality and dreams constantly blending. While this unhinges him for certain it also gives him a unique perspective and insight into situations. This leads to John becoming a successful and eccentric private investigator.
That’s the set-up and all of it happens before the first page. That first page of John Flood is great, it gives you everything you need to know about the character and it sets up the narrative. Things go a bit downhill for the next 15 pages or so until John reappears and reinvigorates the book again. Those 15 pages are mostly tedious with some glints of entertainment. John’s new assistant/bodyguard Berry’s introduction takes up most of those pages and goes on for far too long. It’s mildly frustrating as a reader because the incredibly interesting protagonist is entirely laid out in one page while his bland and uninspired new assistant is fleshed out over half the issue.
Once the spotlight is back on John the book shines again. Berry’s even more interesting as he now plays the straight man to John’s madness. The characters dynamics and tone of the book finally come together in those final pages which is great. As is the clever ending which makes John Flood’s future look bright and promising. (The book not the character)
John Flood #1 opens strong then drags its heels for a bit until it ends even stronger than it began. That makes for an uneven read to be sure but not a bad one. The art is top notch and every page looks amazing, especially when we see the world through John’s eyes. There’s enough compelling ideas here to blossom into something special.