By: Paul Grist (writer & art) & Bill Crabtree (colors)
The Story: In a very non-linear and confusing way, we follow the story of of Jack Staff (“Britain’s Greatest Hero”) who seems to have forgotten himself right at a moment when his country needs him! At least I think that’s what the story is about….
What’s good: This comic has a very hip vibe to it. I kind of like all the various characters that Paul Grist is throwing at us, such as “Becky Burdock: Vampire Reporter.” What’s more, I like the art, which is very reminiscent of Hellboy or BPRD. I usually don’t like that artistic style, but I found myself really enjoying this comic from an art standpoint. Perhaps it is because Hellboy/BPRD limit themselves to the colors brown and gray whereas Jack Staff has all sorts of bright colors that entertain someone such as myself who likes bright and shiny things.
What’s Not So Good: The story just doesn’t make any sort of sense to me. Jack Staff comics have been being published by Image since ~2000, so I was jumping in very cold. I don’t think this is a bad comic, but I just don’t think this is a very good jumping on point. Funny that Hellboy & BPRD come to mind again, but this comic gave me a similar feeling to when I decided I was going to “jump into” Hellboy/BPRD. I found them dense and impenetrable; and not that much fun if you weren’t in on all the jokes. This comic was that same feeling. It’s kind of like walking into a party that has been going on for hours and you don’t know anyone and the host doesn’t really go out of his way to make you feel welcome.
Conclusion: Not a bad comic, per se, but not a very good starting point for Jack Staff either (I’m including the #1 issue in this appraisal as well). It seems like this might be a wacky comic like I might enjoy, but if you want to get into this, you should probably go pick up the earlier trades first. On the other hand, (i) this comic didn’t make me want to go buy those trades and (ii) I’ve jumped into the middle of lots of other comic series over the years and had more fun than I did with this comic.