12-Gauge Comics 2015
Written by Doug Wagner
Illustrated by Daniel Hillyard
Coloured by Charlie Kirchoff
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve never read an issue of I.C.E. don’t worry you don’t need to have. You can enter this without any prior knowledge because Doug manage to make this new reader friendly and tells you everything you need to know about the characters and their relationship with one another perfectly as it goes along. It may also surprise you just how much this branch of law enforcement covers and how easy it could possibly be for the right people to gain access to our shores and start a reign of terror.
What I love about this franchise is that each mini-series could be a made for tv movie or a big screen action/thriller. It’s so full great personal drama mixed with intense life and death situations and it really is something we have to truly worry about happening in our world today.
Cole and Ezra are on a case in Montana where they take a couple good ole boys who are printing their own money, and by god it’s a huge operation. There’s some absolutely stunning characterization going on here as we get to see Cole and his demons on full display. It isn’t until they meet in Ezra’s office however that we get to see the depth of this characterization in a frank conversation between the two men. This is the kind of stuff you rarely see between men and it’s important to show the world that men have the same feelings, troubles and insecurities as anyone else regardless of the facade they show.
When the story moves to New Orleans things take on a whole new look. It gets intense, scary and terrifying real in its devotion to portray Chechen rebels bent on showing the United States what fear is. Joe, who happens to be friends with Ezra and Cole is in charge of this operation and when it goes south and Joe tries to call Ezra this brings the two men to New Orleans to find out what happened to their friend.
The Chechen Rebels in this story sport masks so their identities can remain unknown which to me is slightly off but it is incredibly creepy. By the same token they are infinitely interesting as well as they come across as ruthless and unrelenting throughout the entire story they appear. When they don’t get the recognition they want for the attack on the docks for the agents they killed they plan something far greater and more devastating and it’s this kind of planned attack that would come across on the big screen in such a magnificent manner. I don’t know what it is but these bad guys are instantaneously interesting and the kind you want to see more of. I already want the leader to get away so he can return again and try to exact revenge for what they’ve gone through.
The interior artwork is impressive and there’s one mask that stands out from the rest and it’s the babydoll one. That cracked porcelain doll face just evokes images of horror movies and is inherently creepy. It’s the kind of person you don’t want to face, since he’s a cold blooded killer and the mask just reinforces the fact that you should run as fast as you can the moment you see it!
This is a first issue meant to grab you by front of your shirt and demand your attention. It’s full of action and personal drama that keeps you on the edge of your seat. 12-Gauge knows action and here they deliver on so many levels.