Well our mystery is wrapping up and a big piece of it is revealed in this issue of Old Wounds. I won’t be telling you what it is, just that this third issue plays an important role in the story. Though I do wonder if I can trust it. That’s the catch with whodunits, you never quite know until the last page if you’re being Keyser Soze’d or not. The opening of this issue reveals what forced Michael to retire as it plays out as a reoccurring nightmare that he has. We also find him in protective custody with the detective that learned his identity in the last issue. They don’t really address that fact much, but you can tell she’s curious about him. They begin trying to break down the case together by paying a visit to the man who retired Michael and his partner. Though Michael doesn’t think it’s him since he’s been locked up for years and is doing life. Though it does end up being a pretty solid hero/villain moment with neither man wearing a mask to talk to each other.
This issue is okay. It’s not as strong as the other issues and there’s a few problems with the story. The first is that our detective never once acts like a detective. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be her coming off as star struck, but instead it comes across as incompetence and that’s not a good character trait. Michael at one point actually reminds her that she’s the detective which I would find embarrassing if someone said that to me.
The second problem is that even though the finger of blame has been pointed at Michael since the beginning, no one says it out loud. Even when he becomes the only possible suspect (unless you’re paying attention that is) which is kind of annoying. I mean if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and all the duck’s friends and family are killed then you’d at least suspect the duck. Your kind of left waiting for that moment of realization from either the detective or Michael and it never comes. The strange thing is that it’s teased, but then interrupted.
Now granted Russell Lissau could have something planned for the next issue that will make for a big pay off, but I just don’t know. Obviously there’s something more going on to this story and I’m hoping its big because I have enjoyed the story and I want to see it end strong even if this issue took a dip for me (not much of one so don’t panic).
John Bivens art continues to be gritty and have that bite that the story needs. The opening in particular is very strong and kind of starts like a mature cartoon would. In fact, I can kind of see this story being animated which is a compliment to Bivens style. The grey scale seemed a bit rushed in this issue, but it’s not enough to detract from the story, just something I noticed and could just be my eyes.
Overall this is a solid outing that has set up the series for an interesting conclusion. I wouldn’t say that it’s as strong as the first two issues, but still better than most comics out there so take that for what it is. I’ll be back to finish it out, but be warned… that’s going to be a pretty short and vague review because I don’t like spoiling mysteries. In the meantime, there’s time to catch up on Old Wounds so I would do that if I were you.