Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"What did the doctor say?"
"Won't see us. Owe 'em too much money."
"How the hell do we live in a world where some fuckers at an insurance company get to decide who lives and dies?"
Quite. Action and misadventure abounds in this high-octane opener of a crime caper from Rick THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME Remender and artist Bengal. Plus a bit of relevant social commentary too!
So... Glory Owen needs copious amounts of hard cash fast, like yesterday, to get her adoptive father Red a new liver. Red's lived his life off the grid, free from the system, in fact, not even Glory knows his real name. Just that he looked after her when her mother died and now it is time to repay him in his dying hours of need. Because no paperwork, no social security number and certainly no health insurance means without serious amounts of hard cash to buy a new organ, he's on his way out. Glory's pretty sure Red wouldn't want her to do what she's about to do, but in her eyes, it's time to repay the debt of a lifetime of love he's shown to her.
She's about to rob her ex-husband and big time drug dealer Toby of a briefcase full of his illicit lolly... Well, not him technically, just his couriers, who happen to be the local sheriff and his deputy. She has a plan, kind of, which mainly seems to involve a wing and a prayer and a very fast car. It's not going to go well, clearly, which of course it doesn't.
Special mention should also be made of the hitman who has one of the most novel ways of killing people I've seen since Javier Bardem went around knocking on doors and nailing people with his pneumatic captive bolt pistol in No Country For Old Men. This lunatic's weapon of choice is liquid nitrogen...
Fans of car chases are going to enjoy this series, for sure. Set out in what feels like the Midwest somewhere, it all has a touch of the Dukes of Hazard about it, though the stakes and consequences are clearly somewhat higher.
Artist Bengal, probably best known for the likes of NAJA / MEKA / LUMINAE for Magnetic Press has a lovely crisp style with a cinematically vibrant colour palette. I've seen him comment online that he thinks he's a considerably better inker than penciller but I think he's being incredibly harsh on himself as it all looks as immaculate and highly polished as a freshly washed, polished and buffed car bonnet.
Remender only ever seems to work with top quality artists who love a crisp line: Sean Murphy on TOKYO GHOST, Matteo Scalera on BLACK SCIENCE, Greg Tocchini on LOW, Jerome Opena on SEVEN TO ETERNITY and I think Bengal is right up there with those folks.
In the hope that it intrigues, I leave you in noting that Glory's hunt for a liver donor leads in all sorts of... unexpected directions.