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24

Posted: Friday, August 6, 2004
By: Ray Tate



Writers: J.C. Vaughn and Mark L. Haynes
Artists: Renato Guedes
Publisher: IDW

Deet...Deet...Deet. Dee. Deet. Dee. Deet.....

I had serious doubts about 24 in comic book form. My doubts were further strengthened when I learned that the story would be a prequel--usually a code for unnecessary and/or sucking, and my exact thoughts were "I'm going to regret this" when I put it onto my subscription list. Nevertheless, I could not resist the siren call of the timer.

The ominous presence of the clock isn't carried off in the comic book as well as it is on the show, but I didn't expect that element to work in a comic book. So, I could hardly call that a disappointment.

Vaughn and Haynes draw the personality of Jack Bauer and the performance of Keifer Sutherland to these pages. The characterization of Nina Meyers also makes the one-shot special. Tony's presence is a nice touch and fits with continuity, but the two-dimensional version is just a support player, and none Carlos Bernard's intensity comes through.

The plot moves at a tense, fast clip. This is Jack's first day at CTU--Counter Terrorist Unit, and a routine transport job becomes anything but routine once the terrorist connections catch up to the living mcguffin. Haynes and Vaughn give this character much depth and sympathy without removing the shadow of doubt or the stain of her past actions. Much more hateful is of course the traitorous witch Nina Meyers. No surprises there.

The action sequences are breathtaking and cinematic in nature. A high body count accompanies the well-staged pyrotechnics that Renato Guedes renders as well as the likeness of the 24 cast. If you're wondering exactly how that rates, suffice to say Guedes must have worn out the skin on his thumb when he hit pause to stop and study the 24 DVDs.

The book is as good as the show, and certainly better than season two when we factor in Kim "Where Platinum Blondes Go Trouble Follows" Bauer's escapades. I'm not sure how a comic book series might work, but based upon the one-shot, I'd have to say my doubts on that would also be unfounded.



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