Review: Critical Hit #3
Jeanette and Sarah are locked in a thrillkill gang’s dungeon and one of them is near death, but these fan-favorite heroines have not yet begun to fight! At the climax of this horror tale, the girls will have to figure out how to rescue themselves!
In the first two volumes of Liberator, writer Matt Miner created a world that involves heroes, masks, and action, alter-egos, but skips the spandex and superpowers of the genre. A grounded story, each volume dealt with the very real world of the animal liberation movement, and were a breath of fresh air in the overcrowded capes and spandex market.
In Critical Hit, Miner takes his new formula and changes it up again, putting his protagonists in a situation that’s every bit a horror tale. Caught during their mission to destroy a hunting ground, Jeanette and Sarah are being held by sadistic hunters that feel right out of a southern terror tale. I’m waiting for the words “squeal” to be uttered. We’ve gotten hints at snuff films, and torture porn, and the Liberator world is all the better for it, as its formula has been changed just enough.
For two volumes, those that hurt animals have been generally in the background, as our heroes have attempted to thwart their plans and free animals being held for various reasons. This volume dives a bit more where those who torture the animals are front and center, and committing heinous acts to our heroines. The enemy is more present, and the story gains for that.
But, the story isn’t completely focused on the peril that Jeanette and Sarah are in, and the hunters who hold them. There’s also flashbacks Jeanette and Sarah’s pasts as we learn more about their lives and the issues they’ve gone through growing up, or abuse and tragedy suffered. What were caricatures of the animal rights movement are becoming fleshed out and more rounded characters.
All of this is brought to life through the art of Jonathan Brandon Sawyer who has captured each grueling moment with cringe worthy visuals. Each bloody moment is shown off with just enough detail that makes the reader uncomfortable.
I went into Critical Hit expecting a similar story to the first two volumes of Miner’s tale. Three issues in, not only has the story changed, it’s fleshed out the characters, and world, and made the Liberator universe all the more stronger for it. Those first two volumes where fresh in the comic industry, and this latest story shakes things up even more for the better.
Story: Matt Miner Art: Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review