By: Adam Basciano
The start of this issue finds Cole Cash in a diner. His girlfriend/accomplice Gretchen arrives and Cole begins to tell her about his recent plight. Naturally, she is skeptical about the aliens/creature chasing him and the voices inside his head. She’s more concerned with the fact that he is the most wanted man in America, thanks to his actions of last issue. As Cole tries to explain his actions, in walks a police officer, who Cole intuitively knows is possessed by his alien antagonists. Cole confronts him. A fight ensues involving guns, kitchen utensils and flour? Pancakes anyone? The end result is a fire. Cole tells Gretchen they should leave but she pulls a gun on him, indicating she wants nothing to do with him. Cole steals a police car and heads for the open road. The scene shifts to the Pentagon, where government officials peruse surveillance video of Cole’s airplane exploits. On the footage, they notice the alien creature exiting Cole’s murder victim. Back on the open road, Cole’s tire’s are shot out by his brother, Master Sergeant Max Cash. The issue ends with gunfire from both sides, with the promise of a brother vs. brother showdown yet to come.
Last issue focused largely on setting up the mystery of just who, or what the creature chasing Cole is. In issue two we get to know a little bit more about Cole Cash. Not only is he a con artist, he used to be military of the black ops variety. One of the best parts of this book was the internal monologue from Cole. He explains that a con artist and military personnel have one thing in common, their intuition. Cole also asserts that what separates these men from your average joe, is their ability to use their intuition to react in a certain way to certain situations. This monologue and for that matter this comic book series, proves that being good or evil really is in the eye of the beholder. I thought the reaction by the Black Ops to the footage of the alien entity was rather typical. They didn’t know what it was but had a top-secret file chronicling previous sightings. This reaction has been done time and again in all forms of media but I’ll be damned if it didn’t work, as I want to know what’s in the secret file. That coupled with the promise of a gun-toting version of the “Cain vs Abel” conflict, ensures I’ll be back for more.
Cafu’s work on art is good across the board, for yet another issue. My favourite shot of the entire book is the credits page that lists the writer, artists, and everyone involved in the creation of the book. This was one of the most innovative ways to integrate that obligatory info into a scene, without disrupting the action on the page. I also really like the cover to this issue. The image gives you a representation of what happens in the book but isn’t a specific scene from the issue. This gives you a fresh image to admire on the front of the book, while still leaving many surprises on the inside. All to often in comics, the cover simply features a character behind a coloured or blank background. Either that, or an image from inside the book is regurgitated for the cover. For that, Cafu gets extra kudos from me.
Different reviewers have named one or two books as their stand-out must reads. Opinions have ranged from Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Aquaman and Batgirl. I like all those books but for me, that honour goes to Grifter. The creative team has got me interested in a character I didn’t even know existed until September. I can’t wait to see what happens next.