Review: Sinister Dexter #4

This series has officially peaked and started it’s decent down the other side of the mountain. I didn’t realize that this was a seven issue mini-series, but that’s what it is. I don’t know if it’s because of sales or that’s all the stories there are, but after this there are only three issues left. It’s probably for the best because this issue is nothing in terms of quality and entertainment of the previous three issues. Let’s just say that I’d be surprised if I complete any more reviews for Sinister Dexter.

In the first issue the short story nature of the adventures of Finnigan Sinister and Ramone Dexter was charming and fitting. It made for a solid introduction to the city known as Downlode and the two main characters who are professional Gun Sharks. A “Gun Shark” is basically a hired hit-man that is officially sanctioned by the government. It’s population control at its finest.

The first short story of this issue is basically a Halloween holiday special (which I usually enjoy). Finnigan doesn’t write down the information properly for a hit and they end up going to the wrong apartment and being cursed by the Satanists they ended up killing. The rest of the issue they act like scared children thinking the devil is going to come and “chomp their butt.”

SinisterDexter04-cvrAThe second story is basically an origin story that shows the two men meeting as children. It was decent, but ultimately unnecessary. It came across as a retcon of their past much in the way The Simpson has altered Homer and Marge’s past so that they’re destined lovers even before they knew who the other was.

Whereas the longer story format of the past two issues left a lot to be desired from the story, the return to the short story nature left much of the same. They’re Gun Sharks. I want to read their goofy immature conversation on the way to their hit and then see a bunch of action and listen to Finnigan fuck something up and be funny. It’s like the opening of Pulp Fiction over and over, but actually funny. It’s an easy formula that was set up perfectly in the first issue and followed for most of the second. Somewhere after that it becomes typical and boring.

I know that these issues are collected shorts that were broken up into several magazines, but even with that in mind it’s painful to see this book fall so hard. With the devil story they became jokes. Not only did they not start the job properly, but even after learning their mistake they do nothing to correct it. This is a far cry from the characters that appeared just one issue ago and were intense professionals. Additionally the two characters acted immature before, whereas with this story they were children. Irrational children and it was terrible. It didn’t do the second story, in which they were actually children, any favors.

The art was solid, but it didn’t stand out to me. The backgrounds where basically just slabs of color with black brush marks to make it not look like a slab of color. The coloring was also inconsistent at times; it would look re-mastered and vibrant in one panel and then dull and faded in another. The worst panel I saw had a combination of the two. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t stand out and when it did it was negative.

I like these characters, but I’d almost like to see a different writer take a crack at them. I doubt that will happen, but again the formula is so simple and entertaining that it’s a shame it’s not being used more effectively. I’ll definitely check out the next issue for sure, but I’ve un-hitched my trailer for this ride. It’s a shame because I still remember how damn good the first issue was and now it’s like I’m reading another series entirely.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Andy Clarke Colorist: Dondie Cox Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/5/14