REVIEW: Jackpot #1

Many people bemoan the state of the movie industry.  It seems that a majority of films tend to go for a style over substance methodology.  Even looking at a recent movie such as Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, it would be hard to disagree with a the idea that the movie is full of cool iconic moments, strung together by the barest of storylines.  Comics have also evolved, with a number of books also going for style of over substance. Jackpot, from Aftershock Comics, definitely has style with just enough substance to intrigue the reader.

The game is afoot, although in this case the game is a distraction being ran by Tam Malawi and Dominque Vasko whilst Felicia Hyde goes for a bigger prize under the watchful eye of heater Forrest Rhodes. Things take an explosive diversion, giving the team a chance of sorts to adapt in order to make off with their ill-gotten gains.  Along the way, a mystery presents itself which seems to have a serious set  of intentions for one of the gang.

Creator / writer Ray Fawkes has worked on a plethora of books, honing his writing on some pretty big characters.  As such, the writing on this first issue is tight.  The whole book is action based, even the conversational aspects carry a fluidity to them.  Dialogue wise, each character have their own voices, whether it be the calm poker face, the laid back heater or the vapid air-head there for eye candy who is definitely more than she seems.  Fawkes presents these characters in a well-rounded way, so that when the jig is up and their true personalities come through, poker guy showing some ego for example, the changes seems like a natural progression.

Marco Failla provides the artwork for the book.  His work is very stylish.  At first glance, I thought it was predominantly angular, but as I continued through the book, any angles used were there for emphasis rather than the base style.  Faces have a less is more detail about them, though there are extremes of emotions shown, which backs up the action in every panel aspect that Fawkes writing seems to want.  What impressed me most about Failla;s work is the panel structure and the camera choices used, which shows a great storytelling touch. Colorist Stefani Rennee provides a bright sunny scheme, highlighting that the gang are on a boat at sea.  There are two covers to choose from, one from Brian Stelfreeze  with a variant by Andrew Robinson.  The choice is yours, both look fantastic and would grace any collection.

As I mentioned on the “snapshot review”, I was really looking forward to this book.  The preview only served to further my interest.  Now that I have read the book, I find that my faith in the quality of AfterShock books has paid off.  This is yet another enjoyable romp, the kind that the new kids on the block having being producing from day one.  Story wise, I am a little ambivalent about the big bad, but am willing to go with the flow under Fawkes expert writing.

(W) Ray Fawkes (A) Marco Failla (CA) Brian Stelfreeze
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