Review: Ten Grand #4
Joe Fitzgerald has been to heaven many times…or at least someplace that looks a lot like heaven if you didn’t know any better. But now he’s going somewhere he’s never been before: into Hell itself, in pursuit of the woman he loves. What he finds there will change his life forever.
The fourth 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 supernatural agent of the angels continues this month. The series has been pretty impressive so far. Do things keep rolling along, or was three times the charm?
Last month Joe’s case had hit a bit of a dead end and the love of his life, Laura, had been stolen from her purgatory/heaven existence by demons and dragged to hell. This issue opens with Joe being jolted awake from a horrible dream. Laura is begging Joe for help. He knows that he doesn’t have “just dreams” anymore and that everything he sees in his sleep is real and means something bad is coming. Joe’s only available resource to get to the bottom of things is the seal he uses to summon his angel liaison…but it doesn’t work. It always worked before. It can’t NOT work. He has the seal, the angel is required to appear. Our anti-hero only has one resource left and it’s not one he wants to call upon. As Joe tries to get his information, he’ll find himself using tools he was never even supposed to know existed. The layers between heaven and hell are thin in some places, and they’re not very nice places to frequent. Joe has to arm himself and venture into the literal belly of the beast. Can he even make it past the door? What will Joe do if he even makes it through?
Straczynski writes another stellar issue. This one lays out a few more rules for the forces of good and evil and really shows us how Joe will do whatever it takes to get Laura and make sure she is safe. He’s being broken every issue, but now he’s up against the wall and he’s completely on his own. That’s a dangerous situation for Joe, but it’s even more dangerous for anyone in his way. Templesmith astounds you with each and every issue. His work creating new creatures to inhabit Joe’s world and the action sequences related to them are stunning. There isn’t a panel in the book that wouldn’t make for an excellent piece of art to hang on your wall. You cannot oversell Templesmith’s work. Straczynski writes a great story, but even if the book was just Templesmith’s art, it would still be an absolute must buy.
Bottom Line: Ten Grand is one of the few must read comics out there. I know I say it every month, but it fills the hole left by Hellblazer and tells an amazing supernatural story. Whether you pick it up for the great story or the superb art, you can’t go wrong with Ten Grand. 5/5