Image Comics. Jul. 2021. 184p. ISBN 9781534318915. pap. $19.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Lewis (Thumbs) writes an absorbing and complex urban fantasy about fatherhood, forgiveness, sacrifice, justice, and coming to grips with the moments one tries to forget most. In Feral City, a Japanese American man named Benton Ohara needs a lot of money, and fast, if he’s going to pay for his son’s continued medical treatment. He heads to the slums in an attempt to make a quick buck, but his desperation leads him down a path of murder and addiction, pushed further and further by the mob gods of Feral City. Benton can sleep peacefully at night after a day of eliminating targets, provided he is anesthetized by Bliss, a memory-erasing drug supplied by Lethe, the god of oblivion. After he is ordered to kill his wife Mabel, Benton seeks treatment from a facility that focuses on returning the memories of recovering Bliss addicts, along with their shame. When the facility directory Rachel, a Black woman, brings Benton’s memories back, he must rediscover himself. The novel comes to a head as Benton, his son Perry, those he helped at the rehab, and the families of those he has murdered clash in the realm of Lethe.
VERDICT Recommended for readers seeking diverse, intergenerational stories that leave audiences thinking.
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