Supernatural Murder Mystery On Boston’s Orange Line – Last Stop On The Red Line #1

by Brendan M. Allen

Detective Migdalia Torres investigates a vicious strangling on a Boston subway car with no feasible leads. As potential evidence produces dead ends, Migdalia inadvertently takes in a vagrant named Yusef who may have a supernatural connection to the crime at hand.

Writer Paul Maybury and illustrator Sam Lotfi bring a horrific murder mystery to Dark Horse!

I get what Paul Maybury is trying to do here, but there are a couple things in the script that are really hard to overlook. Right in that first sequence, a girl tries to punch her friends for offering to walk her home from the subway station, preferring to stay behind alone, on a nearly abandoned subway car, with a stranger, in the middle of the night. I don’t know any humans that act like that. Not saying they don’t exist, but it’s hard for me to relate. Without getting too far into spoiler territory, there are a couple other situations with adult, human interaction that don’t really add up.

Art by Sam Lotfi and John Rauch is a little cartoony for my taste. The character designs are just a touch too caricatured, and the colors are just a touch too bright for this type of supernatural horror. Lettering by Adam Pruett threw me in a couple places, too. The dialogue looks fine, but none of the narration has boxes around it and it’s really hard to distinguish light blue lettering against a grey background.

This one’s hard for me. I really, really wanted to like it. I do like the general concept, and the story isn’t bad. There just isn’t a lot of ‘mystery’ in this first installment. The monster is shown almost immediately, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination, and no doubt whatsoever that we’re dealing with supernatural elements. It’s a four piece mini. I get it. Things have to clip right along in order to fit everything in. As much as I wanted to buy in, I’m just not feeling it.

Last Stop on the Red Line #1 (of 4), Dark Horse Comics, released 15 May 2019. Story by Paul Maybury, art by Sam Lotfi, color by John Rauch, letters by Adam Pruett.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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