Published by Radical Comics
Written by Rick Remender
Art and colours by Greg Tocchini
Price tag: 4.99 US
After reading the first issue of the miniseries I was so gung ho about it that I couldn’t wait for this second issue to ship. Unfortunately this book shipped very late, almost 2 months overdue. Radical had built up a nice bit of steam with the first issue and to me this delay would only hurt the series. I really hope it doesn’t hurt the book in sales but to tell the truth it dampened even my enthusiasm for the book.
Book 2 starts up with a pretty nasty interrogation going on where we have a gang leader sacrificing his wife and his own life rather than sell out his “people” to this other drug lord. It’s a nasty scene and well done at that. It hammers home that a lot of the people in this book are vicious scumbags that want nothing more than to kill whoever stands in their way to dominate or challenge their superiority and leadership.
Tocchini’s artwork is gorgeous as always and he does some awesome scenes of carnage and violence that would keep any fan of the Punisher or crime comics for that matter very happy. The one thing I found that bothered me was a scene where he drew what looked like an assault shotgun with the clip in the wrong place and I know this is a stupid thing to complain about and I can overlook it in the grand scheme of the book. It’s just that I have spent a lot of time doing research on weapons and tactics for my own artwork and seeing someone draw a weapon that looks a bit “off” gets me upset. I just want to be clear that I LOVE Tocchini’s artwork overall and I think he is doing an amazing job on this book, maybe this was supposed to be a future type of shotgun or some other sort of prototype that I’ve never seen and really does look like this.
Remender is still doing a great job on the story and I’m looking forward to the 3rd issue. Getting back to this issue though, we get to see a bit more character development with some of the other supporting characters. Shelby turned out to be the biggest surprise of the book and story. I won’t ruin it for anyone that isn’t reading the “floppies” but instead waiting for the trade. From the beginning we knew she was going to be trouble but goddamn she’s living up to that femme fatale tag. She also has some of the best lines in the book.: “You were totally dying to say schematics or some other shit right then. I could tell. I’m into it. Let’s crime novel this shit up.”
Another surprise of this book turned out to be Shelby’s boyfriend, Kevin Cash. The boy’s got some stones, actually impressed me by some of the crazy antics he pulled early on in the story. Let me run down the scene for you just to give you a quick taste (Spoiler warning): Kevin’s staying at a cheap ass motel and goes downstairs to score some dope from a bunch of low level brainless biker wannabe drug dealers. As he’s scoring from them he insults their heritage, family and mother in the process, guaranteeing they’ll come looking for a little payback. They do and he’s ready for them. Kevin kills them with such ease that you almost feel sorry for them. He leaves one dealer alive and as the dealer is leaving the room running for his life Kevin changes his mind, grabbing him by his head and throwing him into the outside railing, at the same time he hits the dealer from behind with his elbow driving the guys mouth directly into the banister splitting his face open…..The scene is actually quite funny and extremely violent and like I said you ALMOST feel bad for the dealers. In the end they got what they deserved, just like what everyone else will in this book.
There’s a lot more action that follows, both with Kevin and Graham. They are both well done, very bloody, very violent and Graham uses one of my favourite hand cannons in a car chase scene that I’d love to see in a movie version, especially if they keep in all of the bloodshed.
All in all a very solid, good read and it builds seamlessly what was begun in the first issue leading to the culmination of the robbery that will set up each character for the rest of their respective lives on easy street.
Looking forward to issue 3.