Trash Bridge (#1) – Ryan Browne and Steve Seeley

3 out of 5

Some occasional bright spots of Browne-y humor spruce up a quirky take on a cop-with-a-vengeance tale that otherwise sorta kinda plays it too safe.

Apparently TB hasn’t been picked up yet, and I’m honestly kind of surprised: a fan-favorite author; a good elevator pitch setup; quality art from Jim Terry… it seems like-minded to a handful of other, say, Image titles, and maybe that there’s the issue: that despite its premise and creator caliber, it doesn’t dig in enough.

As told to us in an opening scrawl of text, the titular bridge – the Transatlantic Super Bridge – was a necessity constructed between North and South America when polluted skies called for banned air travel.  The bridge picked up its own shops and population, adding to the already dirty waters, until a permanent stench permeated the crossing and gave the thing its nickname.  We pick up the tale with two cops – Cragg and Justice – are making the bridge-ly rounds, and run afoul of some especially dastardly toxic-waste-mutated crime.  Something something conspiracy, something something flash forward and Justice is now running solo, with hints that he’ll be doling out some of his namesake soon enough.  Also included in this limited edition comic is a proof of concept preview that fulfills that aforementioned hint.

Ryan Terry’s art is solid: his framing has a very Epic Comics feel to me (like Dreadstar, or Alien Legion), likely due to the appreciable rough-edged indie look to his figures, which is enhanced by Browne’s and Sean Dove’s delightfully sickly color palette work.  Moments of the script dip into silliness, but it’s otherwise way, way restrained: it’s written on an edge where it wants to wallow in cop cliche and a “toxic waste bridge populated by mutants!” B-movie ethic, but puts the breaks on that to try and write actual dialogue and characters, and unfortunately, that makes it kinda dry to read until things pick up.

Those might be setup woes, though; I’d be happy to pay dollars to see the thing open up more as an ongoing series.  For Browne fans, I do think there’s enough here to warrant checking it out, and if that is the gateway to even more Ryan goodness unleashed upon the market, then there’s no choice but to give him (and Seeley, and Terry) your moneys.