Review: Ten Grand #2
“ANGELS NEVER LIE”
FDA (Federal Demon Association) Advisory. Contents contain: one cult church where incantations are encoded into the playlist; one flesh-dwelling, food-obsessed demon; one seer capable of perceiving the spirit world but blinded to this one; one missing woman; one murder; one angel with an agenda of his own; and one rendezvous between supernatural investigator Joe Fitzgerald and the woman he loves, now deceased, in what may or may not be heaven. Warning: do not operate heavy equipment while reading.
The second issue of Ten Grand from the newly relaunched Joe’s Comics comes out today. The story is written by J. Michael Straczynski with illustrations by Ben Templesmith and letters from Troy Peteri. The story about a mob enforcer turned weapon of the angels rolls on this month. Does Ten Grand #2 keep it going, or do we experience some deflation?
Joe is still working the case brought to him by the girl looking for her sister. The case involves the guy Joe thought he killed two years prior. It was the man who was supposed to be his last hit for the mob, but things went horrible when Joe found out he worked for demons. He killed Joe and his love Laura, causing a chain of events that led to Joe becoming an employee of higher powers. Joe goes to Divine Will, the sham church set up as a front for demons and the man who is now calling himself Brother James. With the help of a blind seer only capable of seeing the spirit world, Joe finds out he is about to walk into a world of trouble. Joe finds a Fleshist in the back room. A Fleshist is a demon who embodies a person’s flesh so they are able to experience psychical sensations. Joe is tempted by the demon and promised he can have Laura. The demon starts to cast doubts on the deal Joe has with the angels, and it starts to eat at him. After some demon trickery, Joe barely escapes the church alive. He then goes to check in with Debbie, who hired him, to see if she has any other clues. Debbie has been taken over by the demons and is used to send Joe a message. That message ends in death. Joe finally dies a righteous death and gets to see Laura. With the Fleshist starting to cause Joe to doubt what’s going on, he tries to voice his concerns to Laura. He is quickly finding out this case is only the tip of the iceberg. Bigger things are in play now. Is Joe a pawn for the demons or for the angels? What is the larger plan in place?
Straczynski writes another amazing issue. The first issue gave us a quick rundown of what’s going on, but now we’re seeing that there is a larger plan in play and what we were told about Joe may not necessarily be true. You thought you knew what was happening from the way the first issue played out, but with the introduction of the incredibly creepy Fleshist, things have taken a different turn. Templesmith really knocks it out of the park this time. The first issue was great, but there are some amazingly beautiful painted scenes this time. There’s a fantastic explosion, but the scene with Joe and Laura is stunning and takes the already emotional Straczynski script to a new level.
Bottom Line: Ten Grand is a comic that blends together several different genres to great effect. Straczynski and Templesmith work together perfectly. You have a fantastic story full of great character moments made even better by the otherworldly settings 5/5