Aftershock Comics 2016
Created & Written by David Hine
Illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli
Coloured by John Kalisz
Lettered by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Holy Mackerel this opening was fantastic. I mean seriously I wasn’t really expecting this but hey why not right? So now that he’s stashed all the information on those in the Wednesday Club and been caught he’s being dealt with in the most harsh possible manner. Only thanks to the mushrooms and his daughter’s urging Ray Pilgrim is there to watch it happen.
Turning to an old friend, if such a person were to actually exist in Ray’s life, who worked with Ray in the past to help with the present is tricky business. Why well Chris’ goddaughter will spell that out for you easily enough. So Janis is on the force and she’s listening to what has to say which I find both oddly comforting and potentially dangerous. Though dangerous for whom remains to be seen. Seriously though the writing, dialogue and characterization here is some really stand out quality stuff. There’s a lot happening here between the lines, like respect for one even if it’s not spoken or hidden behind threats. It’s what makes good writing great actually when you can see more than is being portrayed openly.
When Janis and her partner do go check out where Carl’s body is and find it things get even more interesting and complicated. That they say a snitch, or an anonymous tip came through about this place only plays on the surface and it’s made very clear her boss is not as unaware as she’d like to think. But why is he so keen on proving Ray’s a bad influence and a mistake waiting to happen? Okay the surface story but c’mon would Chris have actually convinced her to meet him if he didn’t believe in him? There’s more here than meets the eye and it makes you wonder.
I do so very much like that we keep seeing more of the past and that fateful case with the Reaper that sent Ray’s world to hell. Even better on some weird level is that this is at his daughter’s insistence. Like some kind of bonding stuff that’s too out there even for me and yet for them is a trust building exercise of sorts. Toni really wants to understand and this whole reliving the past is actually things to light that could be useful in the present. Odd how things like that happen especially when you least expect it.
There’s so much information, background, characterization and plot development going on here that you really do have to pay attention or you’ll miss something. David is crafting this to near perfection and dropping some bombshells on us that in all honesty could blow you over with a feather. There are times the subject matter here gets so intense and almost uncomfortable and oddly fascinating that you become mesmerized. Then what happens with that last page will make your brain explode.
Alberto and John are as impressive on the interiors as David is with his words. The past has it’s own tone while the different settings in the present give off a wide range of emotions. Not to mention the way this story flows, the attention to detail and the use of backgrounds here all make you sit up and take notice.
This series is like a Jack-In-The-Box you’re bebopping along enjoying yourself when out of nowhere something jumps out and you can’t believe what you’re seeing.