Image Comics 2017
Written & Illustrated by Howard Chaykin
Coloured by Jesus Aburtov
Lettered by Ken Bruzenak
Admittedly Howard likes to push buttons and his work reflects that. It also reflects how he sees things, his point of view which is kind of uncanny, brutally honest and unapologetic. It’s also I might add how he is in person and that for me was a huge delight to get and talk to the man. I think it also makes reading this that much more fun because of that connection where you can see him writing this stuff.
Well this one is interesting for sure. I like that it opens up with the President and most of his Cabinet having been assassinated. This sets up some great moments for fear moving forward and one special agent who has a knack for knowing what’s going to happen make a prediction that no one is going to listen to. Meanwhile it also means it’s open season for going after folks who one might think are terrorists and to be extra harsh on known criminals.
I will say this though when we aren’t seeing Frank and what he does we are seeing a group of random criminals being taken down. It makes me think that there’s some sort of group being put together of criminals so they can go after terrorists and have people kind of claim that they are a rogue faction that isn’t government sanctioned, when they actually are. So a take on Breakout Kings which I really loved.
Meanwhile Frank is a typical dominant male ass. He’s got a wife whose bore him children, two to be precise, and a piece on the side. Would’ve been interesting if the piece were a man but it’s another woman. So typical man in a position of power who is both completely competent but kind of corrupt. The characterisation here is exceptionally well done and not just for Frank but for everyone we see here. Also the plot development and pacing at first kind of seem hectic and unorganised but by the end when the realisation of what’s happening forms in your brain it all starts to make sense.
Howard hasn’t lost a step with his interiors too. The characters are flawless, the utilisation of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds really make the book pop! The attention to detail is spectacular to see and honestly what Jesus and Ken do to finish things off here makes it even more amazing. Aside from the colours really popping the lettering and the boxes for narration are extraordinary.
I like that this has all the relevance to today’s climate as it does even if was conceived prior to the election. That Howard isn’t afraid to take things to a level that will shock people while keeping them riveted to the page should come as no surprise. He starts this off with a seemingly jumbled mess of madness that coalesces into something unique and interesting.