Wyrd – Curt Pires, Antonio Fuso, Stefano Simone & Micah Myers (Dark Horse Comics)

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There is an almost palpable sense of satisfaction in the immediacy of familiarity, a comforting and inviting embrace that whispers faint, tantalising promises of the pleasures yet to come while delivering all manner of vicious and imaginative dark delights.  That’s what Curt Pires does, it’s his modus operandi. He teases his audience with what he knows lies waiting beyond the horizon and at the same time serves up a grim, brooding take on the superhero mythos that’s imbued with just enough recognizable tropes to set your mind at ease before whipping the rug out from under your feet and sending you, much like the tale he’s telling, in all kinds of different and strange directions.  It’s the art of prestidigitation made manifest in story form that’s exemplified by, and trapped within, every page of Wyrd. And it is magnificent.

A seemingly immortal and unbreakable black op specialist, Pitor Wyrd is a man of rare talents. A master of disaster and the practice of murder, he’s the first name on the list that’s called whenever a job that no-one else can do or a particularly difficult and sensitive situation appears on the radar. Need a Russian biological weapon that’s just wiped out an entire village or an ex-prime minister, who only rose to his position of power thanks to his willingness to go the bovine distance, with other worldly abilities who is about to go rogue taken care of?  Then Pitor is your man. Only thing is, all he wants to do is die, but when his ideas of who and what he is are turned on their head, it gives him a sense of purpose that his paymasters can’t allow. After they (the always and ever elusive “they”) inevitably  attempt, and fail miserably, to do to Wyrd what every government eventually does to suddenly expendable soldiers who know too much, Pitor finally discovers what everyone else has always known; that they only person you can ever really trust is yourself.

In four issues of Wyrd, Pires manages to twist super-soldier mythology, every beloved Superman ideal and the traditional design of the espionage thriller beyond all recognition. Like Moore and Gaiman’s Miracle Man taken to the nth degree, Wyrd is a book that revaluates the concept of the superhero and transposes it into a real world setting where it is corrupted by petty human vices, the weary belief in nationalistic fervour and trite and wholly unconvincing mantra that those who have succumbed to the stygian depths of political criminality use as a shield to defend their actions; that the end always justifies the means. Given a gritty, noirish feel that works in perfect harmony with the story by Fuso’s beguiling art and the purposely faded and somewhat jaded colours supplied by Simone, Wyrd is one of those booksthat needs to read multiple times and keeps on giving more and more with each successive foray into the world that Pires, Fuso and Simone have built. Please sir, may I have some more…? Tim Cundle

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