Medic is a strange series. It’s not my favorite, but I don’t dislike it. It always manages to have these little nuggets of information that are important to the universe and so I’m left with half like and disliking the issue. I’m going to do my best not to talk about the other fifth issues (outside of this mention) because I do think these books stand on their own, but as a whole they’re an interesting experiment and almost work better when talked about as a whole. We’ll see how I do. The bulk of this issue is spent in the ER patching people up and waiting to see who gets infected. That’s really what I was waiting for and someone does. The results of that are pretty interesting but not the most interesting thing that happens in the book. That would be what the aliens are doing. The copy of Dr. Angela Kifo makes an appearance and her bosses… co-workers? Whichever, it doesn’t particularly matter, continues to criticize her efforts.
Alien Dr. Kifo does something but it’s not really clear what her goal was. Unfortunately, the rest of the characters in the book still seem really hollow. Nurse Fran barely makes an appearance and once again does what Nurse Fran does and sticks people with needles. The guy that grew his toes back bickers some more, but he’s otherwise unrecognizable and a bit performer. Dr. Bricker still doesn’t have much personality. He’s also not doing much other than actual surgeries and reading that in a comic isn’t as exciting as you’d think. I don’t know his role in the world yet and that bothers me. Perhaps in the next issue.
What is successful about the writing in this issue is that it comes across as a first issue. You don’t need to know anything about the first four issues to understand the story and be caught up on events. That and a new character/narrator named Kevin will catch you up at the front of the issue. He, along with several panels explaining events of the series, gives you all the backstory you need. It’s clever and useful, but ultimately not necessary for you to read before the issue. Seriously, you can just read the issue and you’ll be fine. I know everyone says that, but it is doubly true here.
The art was very good and surprisingly consistent throughout the issue. The series has had its rough patches before, but here it’s clean looking and has some great coloring. I don’t know where Double Take found all these talented colorists, but they better lock them down before other small publishers try to steal them away.
Overall this is a good issue but there’s still problems. Not a lot happens in this issue. We spend far too much time looking at dying people getting patched up. The aliens could have used some more backstory and Dr. Kifo and Dr. Grimes definitely could have used more pages as well. Their inclusion in this series is starting to feel pointless and I don’t particularly like that. Slab seems to be their main book so why bother with Medic? As I said, though, there’s always nuggets of info in this book. There definitely needs to be richer characters going forward or at the very least just make it so that Dr. Kifo is the star of one title and Dr. Grimes the star of the other because right now I tend to get Medic and Slab confused. We’ll see, though, but the art saves this issue from a lower score.
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Medic #5 Story: Bill Jemas, Michael Coast, Stan Chou Script: Michael Coast, Bill Jemas Layouts: Stan Chou Pencils: Stan Chou, Andres Ponce Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital