Jack Hammer #1 – Political Science

5.33 Overall Score
Art: 5/10
Dialogue: 5/10
Story: 6/10

Brandon Barrows does make an interesting mash-up of old film noir detective stories and a world with super powered people.

The art is mediocre, but I’ve seen worse, especially from the minor publication houses.

Jack Hammer #1 – Political Science
Brandon Barrow, Ionic
Action Lab Comics
2013

Hello, all those crack smoking mayors out there, and welcome to another installment of the “Both Barrels Comic Book Review!” This week, I’m taking a look at Jack Hammer: Political Science #1 – Dirty Deeds, and let me tell you, those deeds (as well as this book) are done dirt cheap! Seriously, though, this is a pretty cheap copy of other, better things.

Let me start off by saying that I did enjoy the book for what it was; writer Brandon Barrows does make an interesting mash-up of old film noir detective stories and a world with super powered people. We are thrust, almost immediately, into a world with an underbelly of gutter crime, some gum-shoe intrigue, and a hint that there’s something larger, more sinister out there.

The main character, Private Investigator Jack McGriskin, who was once the superhero Jack Hammer, is a hardboiled dick (which sounds grosser than I mean it to), who is up to challenge the criminal element can throw at him. The art by Ionic is alright, especially for someone who goes by “Ionic,” like that’s forgivable, even in the world of comics.

But what really strikes me is how this entire thing is just a mash-up of already done everything. It’s like Barrows took elements of his favorite noir detective stories and comics and just kinda threw them together, like pop-culture gumbo. It starts off as a somewhat original concept (if you’re never read Heroes For Hire or X-Factor, and also never watched Angel, which, let’s face it, you watched Angel), but quickly fills the pages with familiar and worn out characters.

The begrudging police detective that doesn’t like the P.I., the quirky taxi-driving sidekick, right out of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (which I watched, so you wouldn’t have to!), and the sinister-but-not-immediately-reveled evil rich guy.

The story is alright, and the dialogue is fair. The art is mediocre, but I’ve seen worse, especially from the minor publication houses. If the concept of a superhero noir interests you, check it out. If not, skip this one.

*Final Bitch: Jack Hammer? Seriously? I understand that it should be a little tongue-in-cheek, but come on, you couldn’t dream up anything more original? I mean, Christ, Weasel from the Deadpool comic’s real name is Jack Hammer, and he goes by WEASEL!

 

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Mark Viola
Author: Mark Viola View all posts by
Mark Viola is a writer, stand-up comedian, and humorist, as well as a geek who was so busy analyzing the differences between Deadpool and Deathstroke, he didn't get any in high school. You can follow his silly exploits on his facebook page, www.facebook.com/MarkViolaComedy, or harass him with boisterous, mind-numbingly silly e-mails at MarkViolaComedy@gmail.com and Twitter @MarkViolaComedy.

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