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Three Strikes #1

Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2003
By: Page45



Writer: Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir
Artist: Brian Hurtt

Publisher: Oni Press

Noah, Bail Enforcer, is late picking his daughter up from his ex-wife's. Neither of the women are impressed. The girl's with him for the week, she's pissed at his lack of success in showing that he cares, and though he tries real hard, he can't think how to entertain her. So he takes her to a firing range, and she's quite the shot: "She's clearly picturing me down there. Well, aren't we just the picture of family values."

Rey's just done something monumentally stupid. He has a job, a girlfriend, and he goes to college. But he missed his girlfriend's birthday. One impulse later and he's been caught shoplifting. It wasn't his first offence. Previously he's been convicted for vandalism and dealing drugs. He wasn't dealing drugs, he was sharing, he just didn't want to finger his friend, or the supplier his mate acquired them from.

"What's this going to do to sentencing?"
"Three strikes allows five years to be added to the sentence for each previous strike. That's added onto each current charge. With a charge of burglary in the second degree and a charge of grand theft...."
"...That's twenty extra years."
"That's bullshit. Can they do that? Can they turn a two year sentence into twenty-two?"
Yes they can.

This is work of good old-fashioned craft and graft. The visuals aren't supermodel slick, but they're solid as anything when it comes to the storytelling, and within a few pages of the twin narratives, complete with distinct, credible and compelling perspectives, I was thoroughly immersed with no inclination to come up for air. The collision, on the last page of the first act, displays a perfect 10 out of 10 for timing. Add to that some serious circumstances, and a virtual absence of the transparently artificial exposition which some of the big-name writers still fall prey to, and this definitely deserves a first, second and third hearing.

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