Current Reviews


Grimjack: Killer Instinct #2

Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell

"And You Say I Never Take You Anywhere..."

Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Timothy Truman

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Plot: As Grimjack and Fangs make their escape from the police when the Wraiths explode onto the scene, Grimjack's past loyalty to the police has him grabbing the Wraiths' attention, and he leads them on a high speed chase through the dimension shifting environment of Cynosure. After making multiple narrow escapes, Grimjack returns to the office to get chewed out by his boss for how poorly the job went. He also discovers that Fangs is looking to him to be her mentor.

Comments: The opening half of this issue serves two purposes, and it manages to accomplish them both quite nicely. Once again, I'm reminded why I'm such a big fan of John Ostrander's writing. The first goal of the open section of this issue is to deliver a highly charged action sequence, as Grimjack and Fangs race to stay out of the grasp of the soul draining Wraiths. John Ostrander deftly offers up a solid bit of excitement as he remembers to include moments where one is left to openly wonder how the heck our heroes are going to get themselves out of this corner. I also love the fact that some of Grimjack's clever plans are allowed to fail, as it adds an extra level of tension to the book when the writing forces the character to deal with the idea that one of his clever plans didn't work out the way that he had expected it to. The other purpose of this opening section of the issue is to introduce newer readers, and remind older readers, that Cynosure is a wonderfully versatile set piece. In his bid to escape the Wraiths, Grimjack travels to a wide variety of locals, from the very amusing Methane Alley, to the equally engaging zombie world. The second half of the issue also brings back an element that I enjoyed in the original series. There is a nice little exchange where Grimjack's employer points out that Grimjack might be well past his expiration date. There's nothing I enjoy more than an action hero who is far from perfect, as it adds an extra element of doubt to the character's ability to successfully pull off a heroic feat when one remembers that they struggled to get their aching body into bed for the night. This issue demonstrates why John Ostrander remains one of my all-time favourite writers.

Tim Truman is a wonderful artist and his work on this book acts as a lovely showcase for his work, as Grimjack races around a wide variety of different locations in his bid to escape the Wraiths. From the delightfully dirty looking confines of Methane Alley to the scene where we get our first look at the perfectly named Romeroville and its undead inhabitants, the art does a lovely job of jumping from one local to the next. I also enjoyed seeing one dimension shifting out of phase and another one coming in to take its place. The training sequence in the second half of the book is also well presented, as the art nicely conveys that Grimjack and his opponent don't believe in pulling their punches. I also have to give the art full marks for managing to make Grimjack's 1980s look work in the present day, as frankly this is the only time where a beret actually looks somewhat cool. However, I do believe I'll be able to hold off the impulse to run out and buy one for myself.

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