John Flood is another entry in the supernatural detective genre that focuses less on the odd factor and more on its characters in this introductory issue. The premise and exposition is handled quickly within the very first page. John Flood is a detective that was once an employee for the government, or “someone”, as he puts it. These employers found a way to remove the need for sleep that has caused Flood to be in a perpetual in-between state where the real world and dream reality blends together. This unique way of seeing causes Flood to question the validity of many of the things he views and experiences. There is a brief point of view frame showing Flood’s perspective from the inside of a police interrogation room, as he explains all of the above to a fellow police officer. The surreal colouring and wavy lines show a distorted reality, capturing for a brief moment what it must be like to view the world from John Flood’s eyes.
The premise and tone of Justin Jordan’s script feels like it would play out brilliantly as an episode of The X-Files, even harkening back to an episode called ‘Sleepless’ where a group of Vietnam vets were experimented on and were removed of the ability to sleep. John Flood, however, feels less Mulder and more like The Dude from The Big Lebowski, even down to his bath robe, undershirt, red heart boxer, flip flop attire; at least this is how he is perceived upon the confines of his home. It is easily felt that Flood is going to be a very fun character to learn more about, as Jordan appears to be having a good time with him.
Jorge Coelho, whose gorgeous pen and ink work can be found in the pages of Zero and Polarity, adds a stunning detail to the pages of John Flood. His depth and attention to detail through a more than decent amount of line work is reminiscent of Sean Murphy and has the chiseled lines and shadowing on characters faces like a John Romita Jr. sketch. All in all, Coelho adds a lot of character to this first issue, capturing some rather odd and difficult perspective shots that capture the warped reality within the pages.
Tamra Bonvillain, adds another title to her already impressive work on Wayward and past collaboration with Coelho on Sleepy Hollow. Her colouring utilizes a lot of bright tones, such as the surreal blend of orange, yellow and red spread that shows Flood’s perspective, to the interesting mix of darker browns and greens that backdrop amongst the unsettling splash of violence during a middle sequence.
John Flood has a very promising beginning that plants enough questions to really wonder what these characters have been through and what direction they are going in. This first issue sets up more than just Flood as an intriguing character, but also his assistant Lyta Brumbaugh. She is entrusted to bring along an ex-cop named Alexander Berry on the hunt for a mass murderer that has been leaving no trace behind on a series of brutal killings. This group of three has the makings of what is sure to be an entertaining and reality-bending ride.