Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics 2016
Story & Screenplay by Walter Hill & Denis Hamill
Adapted by Matz
Illustrated by Jef
Translated by Charles Ardai
Former hitman, Frank Kitchen battles liquor, lecherous glances and his own inner demons, while coming to terms with his new identity. But after finding solace in the arms of a former lover, it isn't long before his violent past comes back to haunt him…
Last issue we were introduced to this and I really liked it and now with issue two i’m loving it even more. There’s this really smart intensity to the writing here that leaves such an indelible impression upon the reader. Unlike anything i’ve ever read before and the fact that Frank has to go through this transformation the way he is is both shocking and titillating.
After the shock ending we open up with Frank having to face the realisation that this is his new reality. As part of coming to grips with his current predicament there’s a tape recorder with a tape in it from his doctor. We along with Frank learn the why’s of the situation and that he’s been left with what he needs to make what’s happened work for him. I have to say that the characterisation of what happened here is utterly phenomenal! We get a lot of it too as we see Frank go from denial to acceptance in this oversized issue.
We also get to see how the Doctor, locked up in a cage, is being questioned about everything she’s done. There’s so much more to her than we realise and what it is that we learn here is astonishing. It makes me wonder how long it took her to perfect what she was able to do to Frank and the clues here will blow your mind. I really love the fact that this interview if you will is how we are learning the story of Frank’s life change. Also from what we see here it really makes me wonder about the Doctor herself and what kind of past we aren’t seeing here, at least not yet.
The interior artwork here is stunning. The emotion that comes off the pages regardless of the scenario is beautifully rendered here. The use of page layouts through the angles, perspective and the utilisation of the backgrounds make the story flow in ways that surprise you. From the nudity to the changes in Frank to the Doctor herself there’s this whole rhyme and reason to everything we see and how we see it.
The way this book is structured and how it flows even with the extra pages still leaves you wanting more. The story is so good, the characterisation so strong and the premise beyond anything you could possibly hope for are the stuff that legends are made of. Surprisingly deep, complex and full of people having to face their own pasts as well as their futures there’s something at every turn that will keep riveted to the page.
Fresh, new and innovative this is the kind of storytelling that makes careers. Hard Case Crime and Titan Comics are bringing us the best of the boldest stories on stands today.