The latest collection of Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard’s Brink comes out on Wednesday 23rd November. It is, as always, simply stunning sci-fi noir stuff.
“The year is 2096 and Earth has been reduced to an uninhabited wasteland. What was left of humanity was evacuated into overpopulated space stations, or ‘Habitats’.
Nolan Maslow, a journalist working for The Herald, is investigating the death of HSD agent Brinkmann and the sect that has infiltrated the maintenance workers of Ludmilla Habitat. He will find out that even his most outrageous theories cannot encompass what is actually happening behind the scenes of the habitat.”
As with everything I’ve said about every episode, every book of Abnett and Culbard’s Brink, Book 5 is just so staggeringly good it’s almost unbelievable that everyone isn’t jumping up and down in comics talking about the amazing things being done here.
It is taut, it is atmospheric, it is quite wonderfully charged and absolutely required reading.
It is just the perfect execution of the slow build, with Abnett and Culbard working together so carefully to craft something that slowly builds and builds and builds. And not just builds across the current book but builds up a genuine epic piece of sci-fi across all the books thus far.
Abnett spins the tales so well, slowly bringing the drama and the noir to bear, pulling the reader into things, where everything is important, where it’s all contributing to the greatness of the plot.
But even more so than Abnett, it’s Culbard’s incredible artwork that really pushes Brink into the realms of classic and greatness. The work that goes into each episode, each book, is phenomenal and phenomenally good. His style may look, at a first, fleeting glance, as something slightly minimalist. But once you go deeper it’s just impossible not to see just how much goes into it, the lines so sharp and required, the colours forever shifting to suit the mood of the current scene, it’s perfect, nuanced brilliance.
This latest volume pulls us away from what’s gone before, quite brilliantly, and we head back to the events of Brink Book One, opening just after Hab Sec Officer Bridget Kurtis loses her partner Brinkman. Instead of Kurtis, we’re following investigative journalist Nolan Maslow as he investigates the death.
But of course, this is Brink and this is far more than a simple, single narrative. So as Maslow investigates Brinkman’s death, he’s also being drawn into the same nightmares that Kurtis has found are here haunting the last remnants of humanity and pushing them to madness and beyond.
So it’s Maslow investigating it all – the Sect crimes, the links to the Unions, the links to the big Corps, the disappearance of Mercury, Brink anxiety, and so much more – so, so much more.
That idea of Abnett to suddenly flip it all and have us experience it all through different eyes, a different perspective, really is a masterstroke and it’s one that’s added so much to Brink, expanded the concepts, made me really wonder just where it’s all going to go. But then again, every series of Brink has done that to me, such is the greatness of the series.
Brink Book 5 – written by Dan Abnett, art by INJ Culbard, letters by Simon Bowland.
Originally serialised in 2000 AD Progs #2270-#2279, #2281-#2287, #2289-#2295