REVIEW: Jackpot #2

Dominique Vasko and her gang take on their next big job following the craziness of their last job which went kind of right.  Still, the after effects weigh heavy on at least one of the gang, with the remaining group seemingly oblivious to the start of some, more than dodgy time zone shenanigans.  As per last issue, things again get a little weird as the gang try to complete the job against a tide of potential enemies crashing against their shores.

Creator Ray Fawkes has a large fan base for all the right reasons.  His work is fun, energetic and at times, just as in this book, a little wonky.  Fawkes has collected a band of nefarious characters that despite outward appearances, look out for each other.  This issue shows the flexibility of Fawkes plotting and pacing, racing ahead at breakneck speed, holding up just enough for dialogue to find its place, before the plot spins around to include other aspects of the book.  Don’t blink, you won’t want to miss anything!

As with the first issue, Marco Failla provides the art for the book.  Failla’s  style has a kinetic feel created from the postures of the action scenes, which bleed into the quieter sections of the book.  Just as this pace slows, Failla whips up another frenzy, matching pace for step for pace with Fawkes’ plotted intent.  The fact that Faila inks his own work means that the energy that he intended to show is in place without being diluted by a third-party.  Stefani Rennee provides the colors which whilst may  not be adding to the texture of the book, certainly doesn’t detract.  Once again, Brian Stelfreeze provides a stylish cover to feast your eyes on.

Judging books by covers is apparently a foible that I have fallen into.  Based on the covers alone, the reader would expect to read a heist book.  I for one was indeed looking forward to the buddy/crook dynamic and the sooner than later to be revealed heart of gold that can accompany that sort of story, although if the crooks were interesting, I could do with out the latter element.  Instead, you get a kind of buddy/crook/Matrix type of book.  Now, I am all for pushing boundaries, as are AfterShock with the various genres on show in their book range, but for me, this might be one step just a tad too far.  Please don’t get me wrong; I love Fawkes writing of dialogue and Faila’s art reminds me of one of my favourite Bat artists Norm Breyfogle, but as a whole I was hoping for a different book than the one on show.

Still, there will be readers out there who might love the idea of a The Matrix meet Oceans 11; if that’s you then pick up this book immediately.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars
Cover – 5 Stars

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