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2 to the Chest

(Dark Planet Productions; US: Jan 2004)

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James Hudnall has written some of my favorite comics of all time, yet he still remains an unrecognized talent. I understand why people heap praise upon Brian Michael Bendis, but those same fans would be quite pleased to see the same “flavor” in Hudnall’s under-praised work in The Psycho and Streets. This book follows along a similar path. Troy Geist is an LAPD officer. He and his partner, Ed Gonzales, work the swing shift. The story begins routinely enough with a traffic stop of a drug dealer. When things go wrong, Troy is injured in the line of duty, and witnesses mysterious events that profoundly affect his life. When he is inadvertently implicated in the murder of some FBI agents, Troy’s life is even further complicated.


Although a full color comic, the artwork in this issue is more suited to black and white. I’m also not a fan of the computer coloring. It’s great that colorists can add special effects like sun reflections but too many is very distracting. Overall the art is adequate, in a generic sort of way. They even show a preview of artwork for the second issue, from a different artist infinitely more polished and realistic. Especially in a new, continuing series, they should have had the more accomplished artwork in the first issue. This should be even more imperative with an upstart comic company. Comic shops are littered with books from new companies that tend to fold within a few years. That’s been a problem Mr. Hudnall has had in the past (Ultraverse, Tekno, Harris). And if my humble opinion can help keep his comics available, the more reward will be gained by the dwindling comic buying masses.


So, for your $2.99, you receive a book that has high quality paper and a heavy cardstock cover. Some minor editing mistakes that should have been picked up (one character is in the hospital and is told that recovery will take months and then we have a caption that says “One Week Later” and the character is up and walking around). These are minor flaws and would easily be forgotten if we had some artwork that brought the characters to life. That being said, based on the art preview of issue #2, I will be picking this comic up again. The plot is interesting enough to warrant another chance to impress. You can see a sneak preview of this comic and more on the Dark Planet site. And despite some shipping problems, Mr. Hudnall confirmst that the first two issues of 2 to the Chest will be available in stores at the end of March.

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