Numbercruncher is a new series from Titan comics which features a brand new spin on the afterlife. The writer, Simon Spurrier, has a Mathematic God that uses a “Karmic Calculator” in a Universe where life is one giant accounting ledger. Bastard Zane, the protagonist, who has motives of his own, needs to make sure all remains in order.
In the previous issue, Thyme, the other central character, manages to figure out the truth about the universe and “The Divine Calculator” just before he dies. However, he is granted an opportunity at reincarnation and will have to replace Bastard Zane of his duties when the time is right. Issue #2 deals with Thyme getting in the way of Zane’s retirement. While Zane’s thinks he is in control, we get to see just how clever Thyme is and how aware he is of this number crunching afterlife. The adventure that ensues is quite entertaining and also very violent. Zane is not afraid to kill and use his “Accident Gun” (yes, you fire it and it creates gruesome accidents). He always has an itchy trigger finger on it.
The dialogue in this book can be complex at times, especially as it deals with accounting jargon and time travel. Numbercruncher #2 is meant to be satirical and the foul mouthed cockney humour is quite entertaining. You cannot help but feel that Zane is really a bastard, but his temperament and aggression is what makes this book enjoyable and adds to this entire concept. I could really see Jason Statham acting as Bastard Zane in a film adaptation of this comic.
The art is not exactly everyone’s cup of tea. Some panels feature colour but the majority is done in black and white. This assists the reader in showing what is taking place in the afterlife and the present life on Earth. The drawings look very rough and sketchy. It is as though you are actually reading a comic that uses PJ Holden’s raw pencilling as majority of the book is in black and white and looks as though it were sketched with a black ink pen. Whilst the drawings are crisp and clear, it may not be something that is appreciated by every reader as some may say it looks like it belongs in the satirical cartoon section of a newspaper.
Numbercruncher#2 is an entertaining adventure for mature readers, this story will conclude in its fourth issue and it has been promised that Thyme will continue to outwit “The Divine Calculator” by using his knowledge of the universe to his advantage. So look forward to seeing an even angrier Zane as he pursues his replacement through life, death, time and space.