“Point of Impact” written by Jay Faerber with artwork by Koray Kuranel, is a whodunit beginning with a moment of shocking intensity, loses steam along the way and ends feeling like another middle of the road story in the crime fiction genre.
The strongest moment of the issue is the opening page, which could be interpreted as taking place simultaneously with the cover — a cool effect; two lovebirds are sitting in their car outside a high-rise apartment building when a body slams on top of their vehicle. In this moment, the issue lives up to the title.
What follows are multiple scenes introducing the four major players all tied to the victim, Nicole; her husband, Mitchell Rafferty, who’s an overworking but seemingly nice guy; her fling on the side, ex-U.S.M.C. Patrick Boone, whom she likely sought out due to negligence from Rafferty, or something deeper; our two cops on the case, Officer’s Warren and Dewey, counteract each other’s experience and enthusiasm. Adding to the action is a moment of home robbery and the big reveal of the issue raises questions about the motives of Nicole Rafferty’s killer.
Faerber writes the story clearly and the dialogue well, moving the exposition along. His strongest work comes between the two officers contemplating the case — their rationalizations for the victim’s death are snappy, if not obvious, and the sparring between the two in countering theories is well done. In dialogue heavy scenes like these, Kuranel makes them engaging by shifting angles and the focus of characters involved — he’s strong in providing different perspectives and the series could utilize this talent more. Faerber walks a fine line by not making either man involved with Nicole very likable; Rafferty’s a workaholic and Boone’s a home-wrecker, so it’s difficult to latch onto either of these guys and root for them.
Fitting for the crime fiction genre, Kuranel’s artwork lacks any color and he pays attention to backgrounds with detailed buildings and a sense of scope. Unfortunately, the city “Point Of Impact” takes place in remains ambiguous; a favorable element in great crime fiction stories is when the city becomes its own character, but we lose that layer in “Impact” without a pinned down location, even if fictitious. Kuranel inks his own work mostly with success, except with Officer Dewey whose pupils sometimes completely disappear, making him look more like a maniacal android than a human being.
By the end of the opening act, “Point of Impact” #1 presents a suspect and a familiar technique utilized in the crime genre: a mysterious figure who seemingly controls and manipulates the situation from behind the scenes. This may be enough to stick around for #2 and fans of crime fiction should feel comfortable giving “Point Of Impact” a shot. That being said, something needs to up the ante or make the audience care for the people involved in subsequent chapters to make this story stand out from the rest of its type.