Sunday, January 28, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: Jack Staff Vol. 2 Soldiers

Writer/Artist: Paul Grist
Company: Image Comics
Price: $15.95 ($10.85 at Amazon)

Inspired by reading the last two Kane books, I decided to dive back into Paul Grist's full color superhero offering, Jack Staff. As I remembered, Jack Staff is really good comics, but it pales in comparison to Grist's work on Kane. Jack Staff has a wide cast of interesting characters equally inspired by British and American comic book heroes, and some of the same quirky weirdness that makes Kane work, but it's almost impossible to really follow in single issue form, and leaves unanswered questions even in trades. The jumping back and forth in time and jumping between narrators in this volume gets particularly confusing, and while it's not impossible to follow, it's harder than it should be. I also keep waiting for Grist to provide answers to some of the big questions, like why Jack is as young as he is for someone who fought in World War II, but he doesn't really seem interested in those details. There are answers here to what happened to Jack during World War II, what ties him to Becky Burdock and several other mysteries involving several other characters, but I wish there were more straightforward answers and straightforward storytelling.

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