cover image Junction True

Junction True

Ray Fawkes and Vince Locke. IDW/Top Shelf, $29.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-891830-99-0

Fawkes (Constantine) and Locke (A History Of Violence) examine the line between love and dependence in this dark cyberpunk tale. Teralyn and Dirk are denizens of the “neumod” scene, a subculture devoted to extreme bio-modification. Despite the protestations of their friends, they pursue the extreme and illegal “junction true” procedure: a rerouting of the digestive tract that renders one partner a submissive “puppet,” the other a dominant “puppeteer.” Though such a premise might have amounted to little more than titillating sleaze, Fawkes and Locke use it as an intriguing lens through which to examine codependence and abuse. Locke’s watercolors are vivid and lush, elevating scenes of surgery and sexuality alike into high art, working in lovely concert with Fawke’s moody dialogue. The book’s greatest weakness is its brevity—Dirk and Teralyn are more archetypes than characters, and the world they inhabit begs to be explored in further detail. This is hardly a fatal flaw, however, in what’s a fascinating depiction of the darkest depths of human relationships for anyone interested in thoughtful science fiction. (Sept.)