Umbra #1 (of 3)

June 5, 2006 | Comics


Umbra #1 (of 3)
Murphy, Mike Hawthorne
Image Comics
$6.70/$5.99 US
**** (out of five)

Umbra isn’t the easiest book in the world to reduce to a few words, but how’s this: It’s CSI meets The L Word (in Iceland with Neanderthals).
Clear as mud?
Flippancy aside, this is actually a pretty neat book.
Forensic technician Askja Thorasdottir gets called in when a skeleton is discovered in a cave in the Icelandic countryside. But when the body is thoroughly examined, Askja discovers, not only is it that of a Neanderthal, but it was wearing Benneton clothing and was murdered with a Soviet pistol.
A shaken Askja, who also happens to have a nasty drug problem, is also having some issues with her boss, Freyja. That is, they’re kind of into each other.
As the mystery (and the love affair) begins to heat up, the pressure threatens to blow Askja’s world sky high.
Umbra is instantly engrossing and thoroughly compelling. Writer Murphy (yes, just Murphy) and artist Mike Hawthorne might just have a winner on their hands.

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