REVIEW: Jack Hammer: Usurper #2

Written by Brandon Barrows
Art by Ionic
Published by Action Lab Entertainment
Release date: December 3, 2014

After being shot in the chest in issue #1, Jack is in the hospital recuperating. His doctors deem his condition to be critical and don’t expect an immediate recovery so his friends go on the hunt for the man who shot him and put his girlfriend Ramona in the hospital as well. Jack’s a tough guy though, and after they leave his room, he decides to go on the hunt for the man responsible for his girlfriend’s condition. Through a series of texts on Ramona’s phone, Jack goes on a citywide manhunt to find the mysterious stranger on the other side of the line, battling a gang of thugs in a park in the process. Jack eventually finds the stranger and fights off his mind-control to take care of him, finding out who the mastermind behind the whole affair was.

Brandon Barrows writing style is simple yet effective. While Jack may be injured, his resolution is without question and Barrows writes his character realistically, but without limitations. Jack is a man on a mission and no one will stop him. The pacing of the story is great throughout most of the issue but starts to lag in the end. Jack Hammer is a two-part story so there had to be some kind of payoff, but the ending seemed rushed and not quite as polished as the rest of the book. Giving this series another issue would have definitely helped in that department, and could have helped flesh out some of the characters a bit more.

Ionic’s art is a joy to experience though, and I really liked the gritty noir feel of the book. There are no heavy action sequences, or fancy set pieces in this book, which makes the art that much more important. Don’t expect a whole lot of detail, but do enjoy the masterful visual storytelling.

Not knowing much about Jack Hammer, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but it was definitely a fun ride. If you’re tired of the same old superhero book and are looking for a good detective story, Jack Hammer: Usurper #2 should be part of your pull list.

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