There are several parts at play in this story that keep it grounded in reality, even if that reality is the underbelly of society. We’re introduced to a cast of characters in this issue as well, which is typically of drug/heist movies, lots of cogs all in motion waiting for the reader to get caught in-between the gears.Loose Ends is a surprisingly good read and an impressive addition to 12 Gauge Comics’ library. The timeline of the story jumps around a bit, but we start off with our main character Sonny parked outside of a phone booth in the parking lot of a dive bar. He makes a shady call on the phone letting the person on the other end know that he’ll be alone as soon as he takes care of a few things. As night sets in a waitress from the bar decides to pay him a visit. She cracks a joke about the empty beer cans sitting outside of his car and he buys a five dollar bucket of beer from her with a hundred. Sonny’s that cool guy that lets people keep the change and sure enough our waitress jumps to it, but as she leaves he asks if Kim is working.
In a flashback we see how Sonny got to the dive bar after being offered a job from an old friend to run dope. The basic plot is that this friend of Sonny’s has moved up in the drug command and is now a major player in the heroin “game.” Back at the bar Kim is being harassed by a big football jersey wearing piece of crap of a man. Our kind waitress shoes him away and tells him yet again to keep his hands to himself. She lets her know about the mystery man on the porch. Kim decides that she’ll be the one to deliver the beer to Sonny, who turns out to be the father of her kid. From there the story gets really interesting and very adult.
The story is a bit slow to start and the introduction of so many characters makes it difficult to really know whose going to be a major player and sticking around till issue four. Sonny is the obvious choice, but due to the fact that his face is hidden for most of the issue you won’t know that he’s the same guy until the third act of the issue. Even still writer Jason Latour manages to build an interesting story with lots of layers for the story to unravel in the future issues. Latour avoids a lot of typical drug storylines and manages to find one that as interesting without being overtly graphic with drug use.
The art teeters back and forth between great and confusing, which isn’t a bad thing. There are several scenes which are laid out very interesting and look incredibly sharp due to Rico Renzi’s coloring, but then pages like the flashback are muddled and don’t play a key role in the story. Artist Chris Brunner does a good job overall, but you can really tell the pages he wanted to draw and the ones he had to draw giving the book a choppy read.
This is a great first issue for a mature comic reader. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to teens or young readers since it’s grounded in a world that few will ever experience (myself included). I suppose that’s the charm of the book is that audience reading it will never have any contact with drug’s or bar fights that end badly. This is a strong first issue that didn’t disappoint and I can’t wait to finish the series already.