The problem with any mystery is that you can’t trust anyone. Hell I’m not even sure we can trust our main character. I’m fairly certain that he’s okay to trust, but… is he? Old Wounds returns this week and it avoids the sophomore slump that several other titles have been hitting lately. Much like the first issue we begin at Michael’s home with him in his bathrobe. Once again a Detective is knocking on his door, but this time it’s just Detective Hess and she’s there to ask about the explosion that happened at the end of the first issue. She gives him the usual cop spiel and of course he can’t help because that would mean revealing his secret identity. We flash to Michael’s ex-wife’s funeral and we meet another character from Michael’s past, a cop that knows about his alter-ego and has kept it a secret for years. The problem is… this encounter doesn’t end how either man wants it to and results in Detective Hess back at Michael’s house to put him into protective custody.
Really just due to the nature of the events and the reveals there’s not a lot I can freely say about this issue. Which is a good thing. I mean if it was a bad issue I would just spoil it for you or not even want to tell you. There’s something brewing and I’ll be honest… I don’t know if I trust Detective Hess. It might end up being the obvious Red-Herring, but really how can you trust any detective that starts showing up without their partner?
The biggest compliment I can pay this issue and series is that it’s consistent. That’s one of the things that prevents it from falling victim to the sophomore slump. Russell Lissau is doing a lot of what I consider to be intentional things with the story. He starts the issue in nearly the same way and he also alludes that Michael and his friend’s safety are depending on not seeing Michael and basically staying indoors. LIssau also manages to cast a lot of doubt on our character though which is again important for any mystery. Figuring out who you can trust and who you can’t is half the fun and right now… I just can’t trust anyone. Not even Michael. There are things he says that act as “tells” and also the fact that he’s at the center of everything… it make you wonder.
Another consistency on this issue is John Bivens artwork. I definitely like his style as it’s a bit golden age pulp, but with an overall style that fits the book. Bivens style has a lot of excess lines, but it works to give the story and artwork a personality. Bivens puts in a ton of detail that really adds to the world. Simple things like an electric outlet or a light switch really do make the world feel real and give the impression of Michael’s house being real and not just a set piece. The balance of black & white is also important for the art and Bivens manages that very well. There’s never too much black and each page is really balanced out. It gave me a Paul Pope vibe at times which is never a bad thing.
With only two issues left I’m not really sure what’s going to happen or what we’ll have time for. I suspect that we’ll all be swerved at the end and there will be a shocking twist and I’m okay with that. Because I think that the creators are giving us a lot of clues, but we’re too blind to see them just yet. Whatever happens I look forward to finishing the series and was entertained by this second issue.