Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics 2018
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Simone Guglielmini & Raffaele Semeraro
Coloured by Chris Chuckry
Lettered by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Joe Hayward isn't a hero. He isn't even an anti-hero! But with less than two hours to save Philadelphia from a terrorist plot, there's no time to be picky!
I am such a fan of this book, I know I am not the only one either because I have been told. It really all has to do with the way that Duane is telling this amazing story. Yes it’s a plot found in a novel and yes it has that almost odd couple/buddy type action thriller comedy feel that would do well in the cinema. That the dialogue is utterly sensational, the characterisation this phenomenal and the pacing being so darn good it’s no wonder just how good we all think this is.
The way that this is structured is perfectly done. We have a countdown clock sure and we’ve got that threat to the world in progress and there seems to be no shortage of bad guys continuously popping up. All this together should sound way too much is going on but the way that all these different elements are brought together and weave in, out and around each other is bloody brilliant writing. I have mentioned the dialogue and it is beyond reproach but it goes hand in hand with the characterisation and it seems like with each page we get to that keeps changing, evolving and growing the characters into what we didn’t see in the beginning.
I really liked the addition of Amelia to this strange cast and to see her in action wielding that giant pink dildo brings untold joy to me. That is an element we have, okay at least I, have never seen utilised before. Yes we’ve seen sex in comics, SEX after all, and we’ve seen odd objects used but never in a setting like this one. So these unusual circumstances that we see occurring within these pages is a part of it’s uniqueness, charm and charisma that makes it hard, if not impossible, to look away. I’ll go there, it grabs you by the balls with just enough force to grab your attention and hurt in the most erotic of ways, see I went there alright.
The guys work on the interiors here is amazingly on point. I am a huge fan of the way that the linework is utilised through it’s varying weights to create such bold strokes and fine lines. That they are able to come together so that they can showcase such lovely attention to detail. From the trees in the dead of winter to the way clothing fits or the patterns in everything, from the shirts or the buildings or even the bricks. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show us a really strong eye for storytelling. The way we see backgrounds utilised in the pages is essential in expanding the moments and bringing that size and scope of the story to life. The colour work is wonderful as well. For the most part I really like the muted colours then seeing pops here and there which makes characters, moments and places burst to life.
If I am to be completely honest the world needs more Hard Case Crime in our lives. The line is sophisticated and delightful in the way they are told. For me it also reminds me of growing up when my mother used to watch A&E when they showed the rotating crime drama’s, Kojak, Columbo, McCloud and MacMillan & Wife. Those were, excuse me ARE classic shows that have those elements I see in these. There is the right amount of mystery & intrigue to along with the thriller aspect and throwing in the romance as well.
No powers, tights or abilities, no problem!