In The Dredger Los Angeles is put into quarantine by the government because of the release of a virus. Whether it is man-made or a new mutation is unknown but it can be deadly and LA is now under martial law. But could the government have had prior knowledge to the outbreak and allow it to happen? That is the mystery at the centre of The Dredger.
Anybody who is a fan of conspiracy theories and stories involving dark forces within the government will find a lot to love here in this comic by Jeremy Wilfinger. The comic slowly reveals the information of what exactly the situation it is depicting slowly keeping one intrigued and guessing as to what is going on. We also see the effect of what is going on is having on the city as a whole and see how the government has taken over the city and is controlling what everyone can do. This leads to the question at the end of the issue about if the government knew ahead of time of the outbreak and allowed it to happen so they can take control. It is an intriguing question that promises to play out through the rest of the series.
The artwork by Crizam Zamora is also splendid in this issue. It is realistic but not to the point of being distracting as can happen sometimes. His pieces of montage involving pictures our protagonist takes of what is going on in the city as the National Guard takes over. The staging of the action scenes involving protests and a car crash are also handled really well. My only real complaint is there is one character, that of a doctor working at a quarantine zone, who seems off to me. I don’t know if it is the design are the way she is staged but she is the one character who comes off as not belonging in the world.
The other issue I have is that the main character appears to have a very predictable character arc that will play out through the series. Now it is only the first issue and things can change but for now it is cliché. We are introduced to Ben Strong a journalist who care more about sensationalism than facts. But we are also shown that he is not all that bad of a guy as he accidentally hits a woman with his car and does the right thing trying to see if she is all right and stopping protestors and National Guard from being violent towards each other while the initial quarantine is being put into effect.
So we have the setup of the smarmy journalist but he really is a nice guy and will help people. You can probably guess where this is going. By the end of the issue he is the one questioning how the National Guard got there so fast and what is really going on. So the rest of his arc will be how he goes from the journalist all about the exposure and sensationalism, to a real journalist who cares about the truth. Like I said this is only issue one so things could change but I saw this coming a mile away and already am thinking about what will happen ahead in the series.
Still these qualms aside The Dredger was a fun read and anybody who is a fan of thrillers will find a lot to enjoy. Hopefully later issues can fix some of the issues I had with this first one and make it even better. Even with the current flaws The Dredger is still recommended.
If you are interested in reading the first issue of The Dredger you can check it out on Kickstarter here. If you’ve read the comic let us know what you think in the comments and/or on twitter!