The Interman
by Jeff Parker (Octopus, 2003)

Van Meach does jobs for people: hard-to-do jobs. In fact, he has a reputation for doing the impossible, like recovering the nosecone of a downed satellite from the ocean floor, with no help or equipment. Or single-handedly rescuing an expedition team from K2, the world's most savage mountain. You see, Van is ... special. He's an "adapter," the result of a genetics experiment, co-sponsored by five countries, that took place in the '60s.

The project was meant to create agents who could "re-write their own dna," and Van was a successful product. Now, however, he's being hunted by the forces responsible for his creation; he's a loose end, an agent unaccountable to them, and they mean to see that he's "shut down." With the help of the famous naturalist Dr. Richard Keele and an international hit man, simply called "Outcault," Van seeks to evade his pursuers, come "above ground" and find his "sister," the only other operative created by the Interman project.

Creator, writer and artist Jeff Parker created a winner with this graphic novel. Winning writing has created three-dimensional characters who are complex and full of surprises. Van is a powerful force, uncomfortable with abilities that are still a mystery to him. Outcault is a savvy, secretive man who, despite his aid, is still an unknown quantity whom Meach is wary of trusting completely. Then, there's May, the other product of Project: Interman. What is her secret? Will she be an ally to Meach, or his most dangerous foe? Yes, winning writing has created great characters and a nail-biting plot.

Winning art is the icing on the cake. Bold lines, expressive characters and beautifully rendered settings make this work almost as much fun to look at as it is to read. Almost. I've always believed that the best comics are story-driven; The Interman only bolsters that opinion.

review by
Mark Allen

14 February 2004

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