Sunday, January 21, 2007

Graphic Novel A Day: Kane Vol. 5 - The Untouchable Rico Costas

Writer/Artist: Paul Grist
Company: Image Comics
Price: $13.99 ($11.89 at Amazon)

I enjoy Paul Grist's British-flavored superhero anthology Jack Staff, but I *love* his quirky cop procedural Kane. I'd forgotten how much until I finally got into the last two volumes I've bought, one of which was recent and one of which has been sitting on my shelf for a while. Kane has a heavy Frank Miller influence, even going so far as to have a terrific short story in this volume that references and in some ways lampoons a lot of Miller's Sin City, but if I had to describe Kane in shorthand, I'd say it's more like NYPD Blue done by David E. Kelley and Will Eisner. Sure, the gritty police procedural is there, in the form of Kane's tortured backstory about killing his corrupt partner, but there are also bizarre characters like the self-serving blowhard mayor (not far from Family Guy's Mayor Adam West), a blind hitman who's a direct reference on Daredevil and a crimelord named Oscar Darke who "speaks" with a thick phonetic Southern accent. Add in Kane's stylistic touches, like doing a whole issue in the format of a tabloid newspaper when the story focuses on a tabloid reporter, or his skewed Sin City impression in "Fwankie's Big Night Out" and you've got a terrific and unusual book.

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