The seedy underbelly of Victorie City is uncovered this week and the supernatural elements come alive. Is it good?
Victorie City #2 (IDW Publishing)
Last issue we met our two protagonists: A straight-laced cop named Hektor who is sick of his fellow detectives taking protection money from local vendors, and a homicidal killer named Brahm who loves to cut people up. The story ended with said good guy cop being put on probation but taking in said killer. This issue is all about the trial and the findings.
Why does this book matter?
After speaking with the writer I was all in as far as the supernatural story he detailed. Plus the art by Nappi is wild and atmospheric like nothing else you’ve seen before. It gives the crime genre a kick in the teeth.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If there’s one repeating theme between our two main characters, it’s their determination. Though Hektor is on probation, he continues to work on the case of the killer who is awaiting trial. The fact that they’ve nabbed the guy but Hektor needs to know what this man has done shows he doesn’t want him to get away with any of his murders. Meanwhile Brahm quietly waits for the verdict of a pretty open and shut case to finish. It’s like he has no worry whether he’ll get the death penalty or not. It’s a bit haunting and shows he is very confident. This is a cool connection between them that writer Keith Carmack does well to establish. This connection assures we’ll see them come to head by the end of this miniseries.
I must say the cliffhanger Carmack drops is pretty awesome. It not only forces us to ask questions about Brahm and his abilities, but makes us question the law itself. What will the police do? I don’t want to spoil it, but it’ll be fun to see how the detectives respond in the next issue.
Meanwhile Nappi’s art continues to do well with its murky and atmospheric stylings. This is definitely a style some folks won’t enjoy, but it suits the crime-based story and it’s certainly strong at capturing the characters’ faces. The big twist is also masterfully done. The energy is at once weird and confusing, but also rather cool. This is one of those books I’d love to have seen drawn by someone else just to see how important Nappi is in drawing out the weird. I can imagine a more straightforward rendering could work, but Nappi imbues everything with a wild darkness that lives underneath everything.
It can’t be perfect can it?
My main criticism may not be fair since the series hasn’t ended yet, but the big twist at the end of the issue probably could have arrived an issue earlier. The book finally feels like it’s opening up into a unique story but it has taken three issues to get there! Really this series feels as though it may have only needed two issues instead of four. This issue is a good example of that as we are given a courtroom drama that ultimately does not matter due to the big twist at the end. Does the story effectively tell the court room drama? It’s certainly not bad, but it also doesn’t feel important enough to take the entire second issue.
Is It Good?
Though this story is taking forever to get going, the cliffhanger will have you talking and thinking about what a justice system would do in the event of the big twist. This series is heating up and if it doesn’t make you want to read the next issue I don’t know what will!
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