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Comichaus Review: Lad: The Homecoming #1

/media/blog/library/lad-1.jpg"Taking inspiration from neo-noir films and comics, Lad is set in a world that is similar to ours but yet feels hauntingly different.

The Family conduct their criminal activities from the Beacon Lodge. They have been for a while and everyone knows that the town belongs to The Family. There is however one place where no Family Member would dare set foot: The Forest.

Engulfing most of the town's perimeter, The Forest is home to a mysterious entity known only as The Hermit. For as long as Lad can remember there's been one mantra in The Family: leave The Hermit alone and The Hermit leaves The Family alone. So why was Dad, the patriarchal leader of The Family found savagely beaten and barely clinging on to life just outside The Forest?"

The first issue of Umar Ditta's 'Lad'  introduces us to the criminal element that reside at Beacon Lodge and while The Family are usually used to being untouchable, the man at the top becomes a target for a mysterious attack.  Left for dead we see Dad confined to a hospital bed as the hierarchy of the family begins to try & find a new sense of stability to try and take care of The Hermit who is getting the full blame for the boss's near death experience.

The cogs of the criminal machine fire into over-drive and as the titular Lad tries his best to find his voice and his place in the seedy world they inhabit there's a definite question mark around what happened and who exactly is to blame.  The ego's are on show from the beginning and that competition gives a fractured feeling to the whole operation which in itself gives a glimpse of the importance of Dad and the dependency the whole Family has on his guidance.


Umar does a brilliant job in keeping the mythical element in the shadows and instead focuses on the intricacies of the Family dynamic in all it's disjointed glory.  The divisions in the ranks and the clash of opinions is a nice melting pot to drop the Lad into which makes his struggle all the murkier in a sea filled with dodgy characters.  He gives each character just enough rope to hang themselves with but keeps them all on their toes with the interactions they have and that all gears us up for a new series that has tons more to offer.

Carlos Pedro's art in this one is a key part in giving the world it's depth & mystery and as Umar develops the layers in the characters & hierarchy, Carlos is giving the world form to let each plot point carry the weight they need.  Detailed, edgy and gritty as hell in places, it's not shying away from showing anything you might expect from a criminal family lashing out to protect one of it's own.  Kerrie Smith does an exceptional job in keeping a high amount of dialogue flowing to allow the story and art to weave the story before us and with colourist Dearbhla Kelly topping things off with that logo, the whole issue feels like the start of something big. 

You can read Lad:The Homecoming  on the Comichaus App now, or find out more over on the Comichaus Marketplace



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