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Jack Staff #7

Posted: Monday, February 21, 2005
By: Kelvin Green



Writer/artist: Paul Grist
Colours: Phil Elliot

Publisher: Image


Grist got everyone settled with his first Image storyline, which was a bit more straightforward and conventional than the stuff offered in the original black-and-white series, although it still showed Gristís usual maturity and skill as a storyteller. Now, though, some of the wacky stuff from the original series is beginning to creep in, and it makes for a very interesting read. Back in 1942, Jack Staffís Invaders-inspired Freedom Fighters tackle a mysterious house occupied by a Nazi superhuman, while in the modern day, spooky investigator Helen Morganís dreams appear to erupt into the real world and undead journalist Becky Burdock gets involved in the occult. Gristís usually spins stories out and then brings them together into an interlaced climax thatís so clever that youíd never be able to work it out from what went before. How heíll do that with these apparently mismatched stories I donít know, but Iím very much looking forward to finding out, as Grist is a master of the storytelling craft.

Heís also a great artist, and Phil Elliotís colours superbly fit Gristís line art. Particularly impressive is the dream sequence, rendered in black and white, with touches of greenish-grey; probably not the best way to complement a colourist, but it is a strikingly attractive sequence. Elsewhere, the bright primary colours of the 1942 scenes and the more subdued and dark occult bits also look superb. Elliotís flat colouring style is probably somewhat unpopular in these technicolour days, but itís a treat for the eyes. This is a little bit different from the other superhero titles out there, even notable recent titles that have done so much to reinvigorate the genre, but itís also one of the best. Jack Staff is always a joy to read and is a great example of the strengths of the medium.



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