I finally got around to watching Sherlock over the past few months, and as I suspected, I was smiling throughout all three series, which resulted in a Joker Junior level grin. Now in the limbo with everyone else waiting on the next season, I realized I needed to get my strange detective story fix elsewhere. That hankering is mostly what got me interested in reading the premiere of Justin Jordan’s new series John Flood, that and John’s trippy eyes which are the result of a government experiment to remove the need for sleep that leaves Flood in a permanent dream state. Even though this issue doesn’t provide much insight into Flood’s unique worldview, Jordan makes a good case with this premiere for why Flood might just be comic’s next great PI. Jordan starts this issue with John in police custody, explaining his unique abilities to an officer. Flood, hands covered in blood, warns the officers of forthcoming danger. Things then flashback to a diner where a large man stops a jackass from harassing a server, the large man turns out to be Alexander Berry, a former cop recently found not guilty for murdering someone. Lyta Brumbaugh, Flood’s current assistant, approaches Berry and offers him the job as her temporary replacement for an upcoming case. When Berry meets Flood at his rundown and eccentric mansion and proves his mettle as a competent assistant, Flood gives the reluctant Berry a duffel bag of cash as an initial payment. Flood explains that there’s a serial killer with an unidentifiable pattern that Flood hopes to track down with the assistance of a viral video he’s created containing his evidence so far that there exists a serial killer hoping to attack. Midway through the issue, we’re also provided a glimpse of the comic’s serial killer, a brutish man who hunts down a meth addled country guy seemingly for the sheer fun of it.
Justin Jordan doesn’t linger too much on the eponymous character this issue, which I thought was a missed opportunity since the comic has the most energy whenever he’s in the scene. The early scene between Brumbaugh and Berry feels overly long, and does little else but establish Berry’s background and Flood’s difficult behavior. In contrast, the scenes at John Flood’s mansion move at a great pace despite Flood’s predilection for talking in roundabout and tangential ways. Now that Berry and Flood have been paired up, I’m hoping that the two rarely ever part again as Jordan hasn’t yet shown that Berry works on his own. I usually try to devote at least a paragraph to the artwork, but I didn’t feel strongly about Jorge Coehlo’s work either way. His figures are slightly cartoonish, and I like John’s design, yet there’s nothing that had me lingering on the page. In future issues, I’m interested to see how Coehlo decides to illustrate Flood’s dream state. Til then, I’ll be working on my John Flood cosplay eyes.