Writer: Mike Richardson
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Ever get an eerie feeling while reading a comic? Not because of the story itself or the artwork, okay not just because of any or both of those two, but because in your out-of-mind of minds you have a feeling that there is some relation to this story and a previous one you read. Well, that is how I felt while reading this second issue of this four part miniseries from Dark Horse comics. The other story in question also is a Dark Horse publication, Brian K. Vaughanís The Escapists. As for the common link between them, it is Jason Shawn Alexander. One of two artists on The Escapists, Alexander works solo here. While I wasnít a big fan of a few of his panels on The Escapists, I am also of the belief that there couldnít have been a better choice for the artwork for this series. Sure, there could have been others who could have reached this level (and they would be part of a very short list), but better, I donít think so. The visuals create a real surreal, but in a waking nightmarish way, mood, and at no time did I feel that the art was becoming too light or going through quickly through the plot. Even the writing provided that mood.
Now before I confuse anyone with the notion that I did not enjoy the writing half, let me remove that doubt. I liked it. I liked it a lot. However, there were a few panels like when Tommy was conversing with the detective (the first time) which I felt could have been a little more fleshed out. Other than that, no complaints whatsoever. Be it Tommyís reaction at losing his girlfriend (and the way getting no closure still affects his life a year later), or Pamís motherís, ahem, asking for help or even Kyleís continuing asshole-ness, every character seems be a real individual and not just a comic creation. They have their problems, their insecurities and whether they like it or not, they canít help but be who they are. Even a year after Pam disappears, Kyle is still needling Tommy. Similarly, Pamís mother is hitting on Tommy (as she did in the first issue), just moments after leaving the Police Station. Heck, even the Inspector tries his "scare tactics" on Tommy. Okay, that part was clichťd, but nevertheless it is something that is to be expected from a cop interrogating a possible suspect. However, once he has ruled out Tommy, the same detective goes out of his way to help the youngster, especially when he pursues (and rams his truck into) someone who he mistakes to be Pamís kidnappers.
Conclusion: The sense of suspense, not to mention danger, to this story only gets deeper with the last page cliffhanger, and as much as I enjoyed this issue, I am even more looking forward to the next one. I also have my fingers crossed on it being at least as good if not better (which will be hard to do) than this one. Anything less, no matter how good, will be a letdown.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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