Comic Review: Liam Sharp’s Junx #1


Junx #1 is an unpublished comic, written, illustrated, coloured, and lettered by Liam Sharp. A few months ago, Liam was giving away free copies of the first issue of the series, via Twitter, and I was fortunate enough to grab a copy.

In a note attached to the PDF copy of this comic, Liam Sharp states that he started working on this project over ten years ago, and describes this first issue as part of an epic story that ties in to the Universe created in his Novel, God Killers.

The Story

Chapter one is titled ‘Emergency X-IT’, and is set in the city of New Winchester, at some unspecified time in a dark and dystopic future. Our narrator is a character called Valasques, who is imprisoned in the looming tower of the J.U.N. Project Penitentiary. Valasques reveals to the reader a life of abuse that has lead her to this place, a life of being beaten by her father, and then a string of lovers, until she finally couldn’t take anymore, and struck back, grievously wounding a man, and punching a cop. After receiving a beating from her guards, she is thrown into a cell, but mysteriously vanishes. Meanwhile, her voice continues talking to the reader, telling us that she is going to ride the cosmic highway, and talking about passing between atoms, and riding a neutrino funnel. Suddenly, she reappears on the roof of her cell. She is encased in metal, which gradually falls away, dropping her broken and beaten onto the cold hard floor.

As the story progresses, it is revealed the J.U.N. and the Eaztech corporation have been recruiting prisoners into a special programme, and have been outfitting them as warriors. This is no Thuderbolts or Suicide Squad situation though, as these soldiers have to travel between space, in the zone known as the ‘Kiazmus’, through which they have to escort some of the most important and powerful beings, and the most precious artifacts in the whole Universe. While traveling through this zone, they are told that they will encounter alien lifeforms, and some of them may never return. For their duty they will receive little thanks, and no one outside of this select group will ever know they even existed.

Later in the story, we are introduced to a few more characters, and learn the fact that the J.U.N. is also resurrecting dead criminals to serve in their project. The story closes by giving us a glimpse of the warriors on one of their secret missions through space-time.

The Rating

Liam Sharp is primarily known as a comic artist, but has recently released a novel called God Killers: Machivarius Point and Other Tales. The story of Junx is set within the same world revealed to reader in that novel, but is also designed to be read on its own. I must admit that this first that I have ever heard of this novel, but after reading this first issue of Junx, I am definitely going to be picking up a copy of the book, because if the writing is even a tenth of the quality that he delivers here, it’s set to be amazing! Liam Sharp gives readers a glimpse of an intriguing world in this comic: a dystopic nightmare world where corporations are in charge, not the government; where prisoners are the ones trusted with the safety of the universe; where the dead are brought back to life, and forced to serve their time. There’s a heck of a lot of plot in this first issue, and much of it is set-up for events to come, so we don’t get to spend a lot of time with the characters. However, we do get snapshots of two of the characters’ past lives, and the characters we do get to spend time with, seem incredibly interesting, and amazingly three dimensional. The dialogue in the issue is absolutely top-notch, as is the characters’ inner monologue. A real-high point of the issue is Sharp’s use of language in the scenes where the characters are battling in the Kiazmus. Sharp throws in tons of convincing sounding theoretical physics terms, which makes it sound like the characters are really manipulating space-time. It’s really hard to pull-off science in comics, but Liam Sharp does a hell of good job here.

The artwork on this book is by far some of the most amazing work that Liam Sharp has ever produced. I’m not sure how he created the artwork for this issue, but he’s clearly playing with all sorts of new techniques, and he uses several different styles through the issue, to differentiate between the types of scenes. That is to say, he uses different styles for each character’s background story, then another style in the dreary prison scenes, then a highly colourful and bombastic style for the scenes in the Kiazmus. Sharp has also done some brilliant design work here, creating a fully realized new world, as well as tons of unique looking characters, and then of course, the fascinating realm of the Kiazmus. Every page in the book has a completely different panel layout, giving the book a highly individual look. This is most prominent in the Kiazmus scenes, where Sharp uses the layout of panels to highlight the fast-paced and confusing nature of battle. We don’t get to see everything happen in a linear manner, but the page is broken up into many windows, where we see small fragments of what is going on. It’s hard to describe it here in words, but trust me when I tell you that it looks astounding!

Junx #1 is an absolutely beautiful piece of work, Liam Sharp has not only reinvented himself as an artist, but has proved himself to be a master storyteller. The fact that Junx isn’t currently being published anywhere is almost offensive, this is exactly the sort of inventive and original work that the comic industry needs, and publishers should falling over each other to get their hands on it! I hope that someone picks it up soon, because I need to know how the rest of this story goes! In the meantime, I’m off to buy a copy of Godkillers


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