Overall I was happy with this issue, but also frustrated with it. The last two issues of this series have been… less than stellar and then this issue (slash reprint) comes along and completely captures the vibe of the first two issues that were both very good. It also in a way continues the origin story of Sinister and Dexter with a focus on Dexter since by now it’s clear that Sinister is not a multi-layered character, but Dexter is. In this issue we catch up with Dexter as he visits a psychiatrist. He’s trying to deal with his anger issues and is wrestling with the fact that he kills people for a living. After he establishes a report with the doctor he beings telling him about his childhood and the story picks ups a few years after his first encounter with Sinister which we saw in a previous issue. As the story goes his father is killed by a crime prince of Spanishtown and to get revenge Dexter travels to Downlode to track down Sinister to call in the blood debt that’s owed to him.
The rest of the story is easy to surmise since we know that our duo grow up to be Gun Sharks, which can only mean that the revenge was successful. That’s the easy part to figure out because it’s not really what the story is about. It’s about whether Dexter was in the right for his revenge. In a lot of ways Dan Abnett looks at the psyche of an anti-hero which is what Dexter is. It’s an interesting look and conclusion from the doctor.
The writing isn’t without its stumbles; the opening had flashs of what the series has been lately, but then it shed all that and moved on. What’s of interest is how Abnett portrays the doctor. He comes off kind of whacky at first and part of that carries throughout the issue, but then there’s this strange bonding moment in which Dexter tries to relate to the doctor which in a way makes him relax more. By the end of it the demeanor of both men has changed dramatically which why its leaps and bounds better than previous issues.
The artwork is all Andy Clarke this time around and thankfully so. He puts in a ton of detail this time around and brings the story to life. The first two issues did a wonderful job of making Downlode a part of the story as much as the characters were, but that instantly disappeared. While most of this story takes place in Spanishtown, Clarke still brings that vibe, that sense of the real world to the series. Clarke makes the story feel like the not too distant future which is a huge part of the story.
Of course I’m glad that this issue was good. It’s not as if I wanted it to be bad and it even managed to get another review out of me. The question is… what’s the next issue going to be like? There are only two issues left and I sincerely hope that they resemble this issue in terms of story and art. In the meantime, this issue was a good return to form for the collected series.
Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Andy Clarke Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/2/14