Review: Ten Grand #3

by

Joe Fitzgerald’s client is dead. The young woman he went searching for on her behalf is dead. And he’s not happy about it. Worse still, someone’s shaking the foundations of Heaven, in a move putting the spirit of his beloved Laura in jeopardy. Someone’s going to pay for it…even if that means walking into Hell itself.

ten grandThe third issue of Ten Grand from the relaunched Joe’s Comics comes out today. The story is written by J. Michael Straczynski, Ben Templesmith provides illustrations, and Troy Peteri handles lettering. The story of a former mob enforcer turned weapon of the angels that gives Constantine and Hellblazer a run for its money continues this month. The question this time is whether or not Ten Grand is still worth the price of admission?

Joe’s case has hit a dead end, literally. Debbie, the lady who hired Joe to try and find her sister Sarah, was possessed and hurled off the top of a building. His client is dead, but Joe still feels an obligation to see it through. He has a big incentive since the case is leading in the director of the man that killed him and his love Laura resulting in the deal with the angels that left Joe in his between-life-and-death predicament. When Joe visits the morgue to try to find more clues and speak with the soul-echo of Debbie, he finds the big break in the case of where her sister is. Things look bleaker and bleaker for Joe, but he promises to fight on for Debbie, for Sarah, and for Laura. With a newly lit fire in his belly, Joe goes to his apartment to regroup. We then see another flashback that shows us how Laura and Joe first met and how they fell in love. We know how their romance ended, but we also see why it ended and some of the reasons Joe made the deal to come back to the land of the living to fight in a battle between the forces of heaven and hell. He agreed because he knew the Laura would be safe. But is Laura really safe? A simple missing person case is quickly turning into something with a scope Joe can’t even imagine. What happens when Joe gets pushed to his breaking point?

Straczynski writes another impressive issue. Yes, this is a story with mystical and supernatural elements in the vein of the aforementioned Hellblazer and Constantine, but it’s also a love story and how you do whatever you can so nothing stands in the way of you and the one you love. The story is taken up another notch as things get more complicated and take an unexpected turn. Templesmith’s art is nothing less than spectacular. His pages bring the weird supernatural elements to life wonderfully, but it’s the slower parts in the story that is heavy in emotion that truly shines in Ten Grand.

Bottom Line: Ten Grand started out great, but it gets better with each issue. Straczynski and Templesmith are quickly reinvigorating a genre that has taken some hits and setbacks the last several months. 4/5

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