Writer: Mike Carey
Artist(s): Jock, Lee Loughridge (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
I picked up Faker #2 incorrectly thinking that it was the first of the series. However, the story is tight enough that I didnít realize that I was missing the previous chapter until the next day when I re-read it. So youíve got a compelling story that makes you jump right in and then re-read it the next day. I really canít give a higher recommendation than that.
This second issue of Faker starts out with a college student named Sack standing on the ledge of the local church steeple, giving some serious thought to committing suicide. Fortunately for Sack, he has a good friend named Nick who makes a quick appearance to dissuade him from such a permanent choice. Through the next few pages, initially using Sackís mandatory therapy as a vehicle, the reader is introduced to the rest of his friends; a group of young adults that, in contradiction to the book title, seem like solid and real characters. Not to say they are heroic; they certainly have faults but ones that are typical for people exploring adulthood. Some are desperate for approval, others promiscuous, others swim in lies. Sackís rescuer, Nick, seems to be the best of the bunch, but heís got problems. Big ones. Nick is having trouble finding anyone outside of his circle of friends who wants to admit that they know him. Given the nightmare of university bureaucracies, this may not seem atypical to an enrolling freshman, but the more Nick searches, the more he comes up empty.
All in all, Faker starts out as a very mundane, if dramatic, story. However, through the use of clever dialogue, a subtle, interweaving plot and excellent art, it quickly evolves into something else entirely. Even the beginning, in which some pretty boiler plate suicide dialogue occurs, is interesting enough to get the ball rolling. When blackmail, lies, hallucinogenics, and a quickly disappearing identity get thrown into the mix, Faker starts to become a more unsettling and eerie tale. Somehow, Carey and Jock even manage to introduce difficult and understated elements into the story; some are physical (smells) while others are decidedly not (doubt).
The end of Faker, handled poorly, could have been funny, predictable or just disappointing. However, in the hands of this creative team, itís decidedly disturbing and one that I wonít give away here. If youíre looking for something out of the ordinary, this is definitely for you. Iím going to see if I canít go find issue #1.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com
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