Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: David O’ Sullivan
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letter: Joe Sabino
Variant Cover: Jason Latour
Jack is home and ready for things to stay quiet for a while, enjoy some downtime with Oona. However Aunt Sam has other plans, sending Jack to San Francisco to find out why a ledgerman using Jack’s name was murdered. Issue 5 brings new characters and a brand new mystery to solve. Was Jack set up by Aunt Sam? or does some new player have it out for Jack? Shot in the shoulder, bleeding all over an underground speakeasy, Jack is left to ponder these questions.
This is essentially a setup issue for the next arc where Jack is going to have to unravel this mystery of mistaken identity and figure out who is after him. I really love some of the creative choices that Duggan and his team have made. Setting up a new villain in Oppenheimer who I assume is named after the famous physicist who helped create the atomic bomb. Having the bar where ledgermen meet in San Francisco named The Raven, after Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem. Jack meeting a trans character named Dominique and treating her like an old colleague. When Jack is leaving the airport, there is a broken service robot who has exploded, while all the other stations are manned by humans. I can’t help but feel this a subtle comment about this world and its continued distrust of technology.
Making these deliberate creative choices shows that Duggan really is enjoying the story he is creating and if it were in another book, I don’t know if they would be as enjoyable. Two of my other favorite easter eggs are when Jack is walking across the street a theater is putting up ‘Analog 3′ on the marquee and the last page is a nod to Duggan and O’ Sullivan with Duggan Tequila and O’ Sullivan whiskey. I wonder if this is their drink of choice.
The world we are opened up to is the perfect blend of old tech, new tech and the old days. With speakeasies now being a way to hide illegal immigrants from deportation and home phones being used as the method to communicate. These are touches that add to the noir, hardboiled vibe of this story while showing us how much the world changes it also stays the same.
O’Sullivan’s art for this issue is largely focused on Jack, which he has improved upon with showing Jack to be more expressive. Most of the background characters and art continue to be out of focus which I like, because it really makes you pay attention to Jack and the surrounding cast of characters. He does a great job with Oppenheimer who seems to be a more polished and prettier version of Jack with a nasty facial scar (which I’m willing to bet was given to him by Jack).
PS. I picked up the variant cover this week, drawn by none other than Charlotte’s own Jason Latour, most famously known for creating Spider-Gwen and Southern Bastards!
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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