Dr. Grimes has many appearances in this second wave of Double Take issues. What became very apparent is that he’s consistent. It didn’t matter if it was Slab, Medic or Rise, he was a consistent character. That is to say, he’s a heartless dick and also my favorite character from Double Take’s universe. Okay, calling him a heartless dick is a bit much right? No, it’s not. The story rewinds a bit as we find ourselves at a house party with Grimes’ other daughter. The one we didn’t spend any time with last issue. She’s telling her boyfriend about her childhood in which her Aunt’s cat would terrorize her and her sister and her father would just say, “stay away from that cat.” I’m not going to spoil the story because it’s interesting to read, but it will prove my point.
Speaking of stories, I figured out with these second issues what’s going on with the stories people are telling and no one is responding to for several pages. It’s imitating real life. I’m just not used to it in comics because comics love to inflate dialogue in panels. Someone can’t just be standing there listening they need to talk damnit! No, they don’t. The creative team at Double Take lets the conversation breath and take place over several panels and pages. I know some readers are still going to be put off by it, but I personally loved the inventiveness of it. It was refreshing. Sure I didn’t understand it at first, but it was like a TV pilot in that regard. I had to be groomed as a reader to understand what they were trying to get me to do. I’ll touch on this in at least one other review, but I wanted to completely sidetrack my review with that info.
This issue has some surprises. Like a lot. Not just with Grimes’ daughters, but what he’s working on back at the Campus Hospital which as I mentioned in my Rise review, is the setting for more than few series this time around. I’m not going to spoil the story any further, but it’s a good issue and offered a lot of surprises for the series.
There’s only thing that I didn’t care for about the issue. It’s nitpicky and I could be totally off, but at the elder daughter’s house there’s an “undead” party going on. Not that I don’t think college students of any era wouldn’t do something so tasteless, but I kinda doubt it in this instance. That and some of the dialogue seemed too modern. It didn’t break the world for me, but it was noticeable. At the end of the day it didn’t really bother me, but I know comic fans and it’s going to bother someone.
Slab is another series with great art. It’s far more polished on this second issue. It’s like Double Take heard some feedback and decided to pour more resources into the issues. I like that. This is a good looking issue and with it being so busy and populated by characters the backgrounds make a big difference. That is to say, there should be backgrounds and there are. There’s a moment in which it switches to a TV POV and that was particularly great. It’s in all black and white and the framing really sells the fact that you’re watching a TV set. Good stuff. Otherwise the coloring is also some of the best and looked improved as well.
In case you missed my Rise review, I will again say that the paper and cover stock are the same and that’s a great thing. I love holding these books in my hand. It’s aesthetically pleasing and if you talk to anyone about why they prefer print to digital it’s always the aesthetic of holding something and the feeling it gives you. That might sound dumb to some, but I love it on any comic.
Slab is good, but it wasn’t as strong as the first issue. I’m not worried about it at all and like I said, Dr. Grimes shows up in a lot of books this time so there’s plenty of exposure to the character. I’m curious to see what will be the real focus of this series as it shifted to the daughters this time around. We’ll see next time, because I’ll definitely be back for more of Slab.
Slab #2 – “Fresh Flesh” Story: Bill Jemas, Michael Coast Script: Bill Jemas, Matthew Dicks, Michael Coast Layouts: Julian Rowe Pencils: Joseph Cooper Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Release Date: 11/11/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital