Top Cow/Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Matt Hawkins
Created & Layouts by Rahsan Ekedal
Illustrated by Phillip Sevy
Coloured by Jeremy Colwell
It’s time for the second story arc to begin and while part of me was hoping that we’d continue to see the ramifications of mega churches and the attacks on them. Sure Samantha was the antagonist and was doing all that and she turned herself in but I was enjoying watching those churches proverbially get what’s coming to them. Still Matt is concentrating on the religious angle quite nicely moving forward. I like and respect that Matt isn’t being preachy, presenting more than one side of the matter from different angles. This is respectful to the reader and the subject matter and that’s one reason it’s as enjoyable as it is.
This is one of the most dramatic and completely relevant openings in comics today. Not only could it be ripped right off today’s headlines but it touches base with one of today’s greatest fears, homegrown terrorist attack. It all starts off innocently enough as these situations often do as the Markins family visits New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Orphaned child of a third world country brought to the U.S. and adopted into the family turns tragic.
Seriously one hell of an impressive start. Visually as well as story wise the whole Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic church is impressively displayed. Phillip and Jeremy’s work throughout the entire issue are amazing well done. The drama, emotion and feelings we get from each character help complete the story Matt’s telling. Which together really go a long way in getting the reader to really see things from an aspect they wouldn’t expect.
That the team is covering an attack on a church continues the religious overtones that started this series off so amazingly. That so many different religions can’t seem to coexist peacefully is both common and mystifying to me. Why each thinks there’s is the only one that matters and is better than the rest isn’t something that can be easily understood but I applaud the way Matt has been able to showcase these various viewpoints while keeping the central characters points of view more ambiguous. Keeping their personal feelings about religion "out of it" while working is the struggle and seeing this the way they do makes me feel less alone.
I love the way these characters interact with one another. Matt manages to keep their relationships moving forward while keeping everything extremely familiar. I kind of miss Rahsan’s version of the boys but Phillip’s little touches are pretty good, like the bow tie. Still the way the guys interact with one another keeps things on familiar ground. Though the advice that Dwayne gives about leaving Samantha alone till she’s off probation or she could end up in jail and him outta work has that part of the story moving a lot faster than I’d anticipated. Regardless that they are that comfortable with each other is part I really appreciate.
I like the way we’ve got a ton of things happening here and much of it misdirection. Smoke, mirrors and lies meant to keep things a certain way and the blame squarely placed where it doesn’t belong makes this a more intense read. Organized religion really is one of the greatest scams in history, with the Catholic Church having been born on greed, misogyny and murder and if you think i’m mistaken take a good look at it’s history, among the greatest. People use god and his influence in different ways as we see throughout this issue. The big surprise here however is how far people will go in it’s name.
Stunning in it’s scope and it’s brutally honest look this series takes the action adventure genre to a whole new place.