Enigma Cipher #1


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Enigma Cipher #1


  • Words: Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson
  • Art: Greg Scott
  • Inks: Greg Scott
  • Colors: Greg Scott
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $6.99
  • Release Date: Nov 22, 2006

When a college professor picks up a Nazi code encryption machine from an estate auction, he inadvertently unleashes a government manhunt upon himself and his students.

Enigma Cipher was advertised as something of a cross between The Da Vinci Code and The Bourne Identity with a touch of Hitchcockian thrills. That is one way to look at it. When I was reading it, though, I thought it had an air of familiarity that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then a couple days later, after the story sunk in, it suddenly came to me. Enigma Cipher is very similar in its relentless action and dark theme to another government conspiracy film: Enemy of the State.

Cosby and Nelson waste very little time getting this book going. Within the first five pages, the mystery is introduced and the fates of the unwitting are mercilessly established. Although it is difficult to understand what a sixty year old, nearly unbreakable code (it was still in the code machine) could possibly hold that the United States government would stop at nothing to silence, the book rarely slows down long enough to let the reader care about that. The story’s main protagonist--brilliant student, Casey Williams--shares this confusion and quickly figures out that the answers aren’t yet as important as getting herself to safety. Finally finding an ally among local law enforcement--the detective investigating the mounting homicides in Casey’s circle of students/friends--there may at last be hope for the young lady who has stumbled into the center of terrible circumstance.

This is the same creative team that has been producing the equally enigmatic but decidedly more creepy X Isle. Therefore, Greg Scott provides all the art for this book. And while I am loving X Isle for both art and story, Scott seems a natural for this type of fast paced, action oriented, conspiracy tale. He’ll probably never win any awards because his style is a little "loose" and murky, but he does have a great deal of artistic aptitude for seamlessly moving a story forward.

If there was one thing about this issue that I didn’t care for, it was the rather abrupt ending. There is one more issue to go, but the last page seemed to end mid-scene. Regardless, the story is highly entertaining and the mystery is certainly intriguing enough to leave me wanting more. I still find it hard to believe that many people will be willing to shell out seven bucks for a double-sized issue of any comic that doesn’t have a well known creator involved, but those that are willing to do so are likely to find themselves wanting to do it again for the next, concluding issue.

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