HERE BE SPOILERS!
As highlighted (admittedly by me) in our ‘Wednesday Watchlist‘ feature earlier this week: –
Dr. Benjamin Dane, alcoholic, semi-professional drug user, surgeon…murderer? Wanted by a black market surgical squad and the FBI, with only a Yakuza assassin to protect him (!), will he get to his next patient and ‘extract’ revenge on those who have wronged him? AJ Lieberman’s excellent tale of black market organ harvesting continues with #3 (of 5). Colin Lorimer’s artwork has impressed so far, handling the visceral and mundane deftly. And the freaky kid returns!
And with Mark giving issue 1 our ‘Comic of the Week’ accolade, issue 3 came with high expectations, particularly as this issue marks the halfway point of this miniseries. These expectations were easily met by AJ Lieberman and Colin Lorimer.
The issue begins where we left off with Dane recovering his morals by saving a “donor” and therefore betraying his new employers. Unfortunately, being involved in the organ black market/transplant tourism, they aren’t the understanding types and they set him up for murder. Luckily he’s owed a favour, which gains him a Yakuza assassin for protection. At which point Dane’s plan for revenge becomes clear. But with the FBI hot on his heels too, will this be realised?
Dane’s a bad guy, but he’s not as bad as the bad guys – Dane is to become a surgical Robin Hood. However, there’s a sense of foreboding – as we were told in the first issue ‘nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get worse’. His hallucinations remain a nice touch.
Whilst the story is dark, the artwork is darker – the atmosphere Lorimer generates with shadows is expert. I love the tone of this book. I’m really hoping they expand upon the miniseries a la Think Tank (preview of #3 HERE).
Beyond that, it’s difficult to tell where this miniseries is going – redemption, given Dane’s character, doesn’t seem an option. In an interview with USA Today Lieberman said “I didn’t want the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold thing” and took inspiration from Andy Sipowicz, a classic character from NYPD Blue (90s reference – nailed it).
Turn on the blue lights and return to the comic store – this miniseries makes the cut.