Boom! Studios 2016
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Raul Trevino
Coloured by Juan Useche
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Danielle finally comes face to face with her father Conrad Marlowe, and must confront her own sanity with the world he has built to fight the cartels.
Oh my stars and garters this was not what I was expecting it’s intense, disturbing and all kinds of a demonstration into the depths of madness one man can fall to. In it’s way it’s powerfully written and illustrated to showcase the vision of Conrad Marlowe and that he subjects his daughter to this is beyond the reasoning of my mind at this juncture. As I sit here trying to reconcile the facts that are laid before us i’m still in something akin to shock at how this issue plays out.
Fighting fire with fire is one thing and we’ve seen how that plays out but this, this is on a whole new level of madness and deprivation. There are times that when Conrad is talking to Danielle and as she does you almost start to believe in his line of thinking but then reason takes over and you see thing for what they truly are. But it isn’t until the end of the story that you fully realise where Conrad has gone and what he’s shown his daughter, that girl of his own flesh and blood and seems to have forgotten or disregarded that notion that blood is thicker than water.
From the onset we’ve known a few things that Danielle wanted this assignment to find her missing father and see if he’s really become the monster people claim he is. That the agency, the DEA, and the Cartel know who she is to him and have allowed her some leeway in her dealings so that they may follow and use her to find him. I mean they all counted on him having paternal feelings for his daughter and her feelings for him to do what others could not. That was evident from the onset but it was still more about her own journey and not letting on or minding they were using her. So to have seen the beginning and to have gotten to this point is something I wasn’t prepared for.
Gripping, powerful and full of the kind of writing and storytelling that makes the reader sit up straighter and take notice. That’s what Justin has done here. When people talk of monsters it’s more abstract until you meet those people who are truly monstrous. In their actions, desires and the depths of depravity they are willing to go to in seeing their dream come to fruition. Conrad stopped being a man a long time ago and the horrors of what he’s seen, done and experienced have left him no longer a man but a monster. Monsters are real it’s just how they are created that is different for each individual.
The story wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the work done by Raul and Juan. From seeing innocence transform into something evil is among the most powerful of imagery one can create and to do so so effectively here is amazing. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and even the backgrounds they’ve taken us on a journey that few if any could come out of unchanged.
You aren’t prepared for this, no one can be and it’s that fact that makes you sit back analyze and be in complete awe of Justin and company and what they’ve brought here. Not even David Muir would come out of this the same man and he’s seen atrocities we can only imagine.