Faker (#1 of 6) – COMIC: Mike Carey/Jock Vertigo

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The tag line for Faker is “Everyone has something to hide”. And with a title like Faker thrown on top of a tag line like that before you even open the book, you're expecting misdirection. So Mike Carey's first task in this book is to build your trust back up in spite of your better judgment, so that when he finally does pull the rug out from underneath you, the trap door you fall down proves completely spellbinding.

And by and large Carey does succeed. He gives you many reasons to distrust, but also many to want to trust. Faker is Mike Carey's story about a bunch of Minnesota college kids who wake up one day to find that one of their friends in their clique has been completely erased from the memories of the rest of the world. What you're looking at is a book about shared memories, and the fragility of identity.

As with the other book Carey is writing for Vertigo, the mercurial Crossing Midnight, there does seem to be something of a mismatch between the artist's style and the scope of what Carey is writing. Reading Faker, you almost wish for a grimier hyper-detailed style, instead of the blocky shapes and figures that Jock gives us. Which isn't to say the art is at all bad. It's quite good in many places, and in the service of a different story it might have proven very powerful. But if this book has a weakness, it is that the art seems off-step from the narrative tone that Carey's writing creates.

Either way, at the end of the day it's a book to definitely have on the radar. It is a solid enough beginning to expect big returns farther down in the story.