In Boston, powers are real, heroes are rare and Jack McGriskin is a private detective with a strong right arm and a nose for trouble. When a missing person he’s been hired to find turns up dead, he stumbles into a network of corruption stretching from the streets of Boston to the halls of Congress and the clues lead him back to a world he’d left behind. And just as things are starting to get back to normal, a new shadow falls across his path in the form of the mysterious Usurper.
Every so often, waiting a little bit longer to catch up on a title you’ve been following turns out to be beneficial. I was a bit worried in my last review that we might not get any more of Jack Hammer after the fourth issue. Thanks to my recent opportunity to read the trade, I see that we actually managed to get at least another round in the ring.
To catch up those unfamiliar with this title based out of Boston, it features a private detective who also happens to be an above average human. By above average, I mean to say that this is another universe where there are in fact people with all sorts of interesting superpowers. Jack is past those days where he uses them on any regular basis, but after getting caught up in a seemingly typical murder case, that’s quickly changes. He faces off against some pretty tough enemies, but manages to prevail in the end.
The second portion actually includes a continuation arc titled Usurper. Even only being a couple issues, it gave us a pretty intense story. Jack’s assistant is targetted by another superpowered baddie in order to make Jack suffer. Even being wounded, he is not about to stop, especially with how upset he is that Ramona was used. Once again, he defeats the odds and the good guy wins.
The artwork has been extremely good throughout every issue from day one and stayed just as good in this trade. Anytime there’s panels with actions, you can definitely feel the force behind it. Even those areas where there isn’t and it’s just the movement of the story, the drama is strongly illustrated. I’ve always liked the rough and dark feel of the art and still feel it fits the story perfectly.
I’m really glad to see that they did end up continuing with more Jack Hammer later in the year. The series has a great ensemble of characters and a continually gripping story. It appears with something hinted at in Usurper that there is more of this title to come. Now with the first two arcs conveniently combined in one book, you really have no excuse not to check out this book on your next shop run.
For more information on Jack Hammer or other Action Lab titles, check out Action Lab.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.