After reviewing the first issue of Jack Avarice is The Courier, I really wanted to continue following the book as I feel that an indie book releasing its entire series weekly is something worth covering. I’m not in love with the series and really it relies on the stereotypes of the genre far too much for its story, but it’s campy and a lot of fun at the same time. The book comes across very self-aware at times and teeters on the edge of Austin Powers territory a couple of times, but now I wonder if that’s not the point of the book. What if this book is really just making fun of every spy movie and TV show, but on the surface level is appealing to fans of the genre at the same time? This issue picks up literally where the last issue left off;the Fox has died in front of Jack and a gang of Cobra-esc villains are pointing their guns at him. Thankfully Jack’s Russian friend that spent the entire last issue talking has a special flash grenade that gets Jack out of the situation.From there we’re introduced to the spy organization “The Courier” and find out how the Fox and Jack are connected. We also learn that the Fox’s protégé is being passed over in favor of Jack as he’s thrown into his first mission.
I’ll just say that there was one scene that made me laugh and had me studying the page for a good few minutes. I really can’t allow myself to ruin this page, but if you know anything of the spy genre you’ll appreciate it greatly. Now, my problems with the story are pretty much the same as the first issue. The story is constantly moving as if it was in a race, there’s no character development and the premise has been done before. In fact the addition of the protégé being passed over in favor of the accident spy furthered the cliché of the story. So here’s where I’m confused by the point of this book, is it as I said in the beginning a campy movie that’s just trying to deliver the action and play to the stereotype or is it aware of what it is and doing in a way that it is poking fun at the genre while delivering the same product it always does? The thing is I could understand either as an explanation, but I wouldn’t buy both as the answer. I think if it is the latter than it’s just not smart enough to make me a believer.
What it really boils down to is what you’re looking to get out of a comic. Are you looking for a fun spy story with action and babes and tons of sexual references? Then you’re looking for Jack Avarice. If you’re looking for something to revolutionize the genre and be deep and meaningful with rich full characters, then you’re not looking for this book. Personally, even if I’m not sure what the creator (Chris Madden) is going for I’m still enjoying it. I’ve accepted that Jack is one-dimensional and that he’s going to have every woman throwing themselves at him and that’s okay. Comics can just be fun and exciting reads and at the end of the day that’s what I took from Jack Avarice is The Courier.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Chris Madden Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99