Writer: John Ostrander
Artists: Timothy Truman (p), Steve Becker (i)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Plot: As Grimjack awkwardly heads off to start a new day, he still doesn't trust Chaney in spite of spending the night with her. As such, he leaves her out of his efforts to discover who notified Kalter about the assassination attempt. However, he brings Chaney along when he visits a night club whose primary clientele are blood sucking vampires, and this proves to have been a wise move when Grimjack manages to tick off the club's owner and her undead customer base. Grimjack's investigation takes an even worse turn when he locates an information source he was looking for.
Comments: You have to love this book, as it's one of the few titles on the market that seems to be quite aware that if one keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace than you are going to leave fans wanting more. With the current trend toward spending several issues building toward a conflict, you have to admire a title that offers up an exciting conflict each and every issue. Now I do get the sense that there's a number of plot elements that are flying right over my head as so far I've only managed to track down sixteen issues of the original Grimjack series, but the simple fact of the matter is that it's not even an issue, as there's more than enough material here to keep me fully engaged. I also love that this book has a clear understanding that Grimjack is a far more interesting character when the writing makes it all too clear that he's far from perfect. I love that he has made mistakes that he deeply regrets and that almost every person that he meets is bearing a grudge over a previous encounter. I also love that when a battle breaks out the writing is quick to realize that it's no fun for the readers if our hero's victory is clearly spelled out before the battle can even begin, as there are a couple moments in this issue where a real sense of doubt is created about Grimjack's ability to walk away from these fights in one piece, let alone as the winner. Now the story does on occasion feel like it's jumping from one idea to the next with very little explanation for why these jumps are being made by Grimjack, but frankly the overall entertainment value is so strong that the herky-jerky momentum of the writing is very easy to ignore. Plus any book that can offer up a cliff-hanger that involves Ninja Mimes deserves the highest praise that I can give.
Timothy Truman continues to deliver a wonderfully realized environment for this story to take place in, as how can one not love the grim and gritty nature of the city? He manages to shift gears with the simple turn of a page, as the minute we enter the vampire nightclub, the horror movie element kicks full force. In fact, the sequence where the club owner prepares to feast upon a potential victim has a wonderful sense of energy to it that Grimjack's actions are almost an unwelcome intrusion. The art also wonderfully conveys the idea that Grimjack is not an unstoppable fighting force, as the art doesn't shy away from the panels where it's all too clear that our battle weary is getting his head handed to him. The big panel where Grimjack manages to win his battle against the hulking Lamprey entity was also a lovely piece of art, as it perfectly sells the inhuman quality of his attacker.
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