In Numbercruncher, the bureaucratic Divine Calculator controls the souls destined reincarnation. Trying to buy more time only ends with despair, since it’s part of a contract to take the place of an agent when death comes again.
Agent 494 is a tired cockney tough who’s only too happy that the newly dead Richard Thyme wants to strike a deal. Thyme, however, is a cunning mathematician who doesn’t play by the rules. Thyme finds a way to go through infinite reincarnations, with all of his memories intact. What ensues between Agent 494 and Thyme is a cat-and-mouse game through lifetimes. The chase has a Death Note feel to it, with the antagonists being equally matched.
Thyme’s willing to go through endless deaths and rebirths in order to snatch a few stolen moments with his beloved girlfriend. Jenny Reed is the book’s tragic figure because everyone she loves dies in cruel and unusual ways. Thyme’s a jerk for not noticing that Jenny feels tortured, and that his reincarnations are the cause of her suffering. Some readers may disagree with the ending but I found Numbercruncher to be an enjoyable graphic novel with a fresh take on the afterlife.
Si Spurrier, P.J. Holden, Jordie Bellaire