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Review – Jack Hammer: Political Science #1

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Jack Hammer: Political Science #1I get excited when I come across a comic book company I’ve never heard of and get a chance to check out what they have to offer.  Reasonably Priced Comics is one of those companies and I got a chance to check out two of their offerings, the first of which is reviewed here.

When I saw the title Jack Hammer: Political Science #1 I imagined a series of political intrigue that might hearken back to my days as a political science major.  Instead I’m thrown for a loop as it’s a pretty entertaining detective comic with superhero elements.

Jack McGriskin has been many things: a juvenile delinquent, a soldier, a boxer…a superhero. Now he’s a private investigator who keeps finding that while he can ditch the spandex, he can’t leave behind the heroics!

In his first limited series, the “Political Science” storyline, Jack is hired to find a missing business executive only to have him turn up dead under bizarre circumstances. When the company that hired him tells him to back off, he is even more determined to get to the bottom of the case and the leads he follows may lead him back to a world he thought he’d left behind.

The writing is actually very solid, to the point I want to see what comes next in the second issue.  The art is a little rough, but also good.  You can see a lot of potential and there’s only some minor issues I have with it.

Overall, if you like detective stories, Jack Hammer: Political Science is worth checking out because 1) you’re supporting a smaller independent publisher and 2) it’s a really good read.

Plot: Written by Brandon Barrows the story is the usual standard noir/detective story and hits all of the plot points you’d expect.  Crooked people, a cop you’re not quite sure you can trust, a detective with a shady past and dames.  It’s all there.  But still, this is entertaining and set up in a while it doesn’t seem like a list is being checked off.  The dialogue is good, some flashbacks add depth to the main character and enough is hinted at to show there’s more to come as far as character development.  Rating: 8

Art: The art and character design is by Ionic (is that a person? a company?).  The art is decent, but doesn’t quite seem finished.  You can really see this with the hair of the characters which looks stiff.  You have the head design (and some times you can see the rough pencils) and then the hair is penciled in with some lines and then colored.  It works, but seems a bit rough, like there’s a next step to the art that’s been skipped and depth is missing.  But that’s not always the case, which is weird.  But overall I liked the art.  Rating: 7.5

Overall: For being new to the company I’m impressed.  This being the first thing I’ve read from them, I absolutely look forward to see what else they have and what comes next in this four issue series.  Like most noir out there, it’s not totally original, but it has personality and enough to make it stand out from being a write by numbers series.  And I want to know how the “political science” comes into play.  Overall rating: 7.75

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 24 pages    Price: $2.99     Release: Out Now

Reasonably Priced Comics provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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One comment

  • Brett, thanks for the kind words and the construction criticism. They’re both really appreciated. The second issue of JH:PS is due out at the end of the month

    Oh and for the record, Ionic is just one dude :)