Review: Skullduggery: A Legal Fiction #1

When it comes to legal dramas, the best ones are usually on television. Of course, there are exceptions, like Harrison Ford’s supremely acted Presumed Innocent which set a new bar for thrillers and challenged character tropes. The one show that made the courtroom so intriguing was the dense and smartly told Perry Mason. I remember growing up in Trinidad where we had only the local television and one satellite channel which usually was tuned into some American cable channel.

If we were unlucky, it would be tuned into CNN or Headline News, which was not what my 7 year old self wanted to watch. Then ever so often it would be tuned to TBS where I spent hours watching Perry Mason reruns. I never thought I would enjoy a show in black and white until I watched this TV Classic. The show created a genre all to itself where viewers got engrossed in different court cases. In J.R. Beirens legal thriller Skullduggery, readers get embroiled in this legal drama with some interesting characters.

The readers get dropped into dark snowy night in a city much like many others but are taken to a murder scene. We also meet a judge, Stewie Sponte, who is embroiled in his cases, but is aware of a drug problem in his city, one that is taking lives every day. We are also introduced to s shadowy figure who may be behind the murders, and from this very first scene, it looks like he was hired to do so. By issue’s end, Stewie saves a young lady, who may be more than meets the eye.

Overall, the comic is a slow pot boiler that pulls readers in bit by bit, eventually wining them over with the story and the attention to detail. The story by J.R. Beirens is smart and gripping. The art by Beirens is nostalgic and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent noir story that deserves to be talked about with the great legal dramas.

Story: J.R. Beirens Art: J.R. Beirens
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy