Review by Luke Williams
Written by Duncan Jones & Alex De Campi
Drawn and Coloured by Dylan Teague, Adam Brown, Duncan Fegredo, Jacob Phillips, LRNZ, Ed Ocańa & Raúl Arnáiz, André Araújo, Chris O’Halloran, Simon Bisley, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Tonci Zonjic, Skylar Patridge, Marissa Louise, Pia Guerra, Matt Wilson, James Stokoe, R.M. Guéra, Giulia Brusco, Chris Weston, Sergey Nazarov, Rufus Dayglo, Sofia Dodgson, Annie Wu, David Lopez, Nayoung Kim, Christian Ward
Written by Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones and Alex De Campi (2000AD, Bad Karma and Blade Runner), at its heart Madi is a classic road trip story. Madi Preston is a former British special forces soldier with cybernetic enhancements, now working as a mercenary for a large corporation alongside members of her former unit to earn a crust and keep their high maintenance artificial parts in full working order.
Madi takes a job from a rival corporation to “recover” technology with a pay out that should set her up for life. But her contact hasn’t been exactly straight with what she is actually recovering. During the operation, she suffers a blackout and wakes hours later in a completely different location with no memory of how she got there… and that’s where her troubles really begin.
Being set in the near future, there’s enough science fiction elements to make it feel fantastic, though with the way technology is currently progressing they are all quite believable. Making Madi an ex-British soldier is strangely refreshing, and although she kicks arse in the best Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 style, she’s got enough quirks and foibles to make her interesting and relatable – or at least as much as you can relate to a cybernetically enhanced ex-special forces, soldier for hire.
Unsurprisingly, Madi reads like a film script. In separate interviews with The Hollywood Reporter and The Guardian, Jones reported that it was intended as be the third film in the “Mooninverse” trilogy (the other two films being Jones’ Moon and Source Code), but the pressure of work, the death of his father, and his wife’s illness, he decided to scale back on his commitments and chose the “graphic novel” route. Jones and De Campi batted the screenplay back and fore to get into shape for the new format. Jones then sought assistance from his Twitter followers in his selection of artists, which he and De Campi whittled down to the impressive range we have before us.
Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Duncan Fegredo, Chris Weston, Dylan Teague, Tonji Zonic, Rufus Dayglo, R.M. Guera are just some of the artistic contributors and they all produce excellent work . With such a plethora of artists and range of styles there is a danger of the strip feeling disjointed, but each artist was given a specific sequence to illustrate, breaking the story up into chapters. Despite this, the stylistic changes jar occasionally, but on the whole it flows remarkably well. If there is a specific criticism, it’s that the continuity of the look of some characters doesn’t always follow through between artists and the less said about the lettering on the Simon Bisley sequence, the better.
Available in softcover, hardcover or deluxe hardcover editions, Madi is recommended for those who like their science fiction fast paced and action packed with beautiful art.