“Point of Impact” #2 by Jay Faerber and Koray Kuranel begins with a classic opening of police knocking on someone’s door, and a long pursuit ensues between police and suspect across Kuranel’s detailed cityscape rooftops.
The scene is well-paced on its own, and Patrick Boone’s defense tactics are interesting for their lack of weapons, especially for a soldier. While the chase takes up a forth of the issue, the scene’s length is justified because it leads to a deduction by Detective Abby Warren. With only four issues, Faerber doesn’t have a lot of space for deeper characterization, but Warren and Boone get some subtle and efficient development through their actions. Boone is by far the most interesting character in “Point of Impact,” as since he says very little and his movements are unpredictable. Also, he seems much better-informed than either the police or the press.
Unfortunately, as the focus shifts from Boone to Mitch Rafferty, the bereaved husband, Faerber’s story becomes mired in cliche. First, Mitch makes a scene in his editor’s office, when both journalistic ethics and common sense dictate that he shouldn’t be working on this story. The next scene between Mitch Rafferty and his sister-in-law Denise is even more stereotypical, from beginning to end. I could guess exactly what was going to be said many panels beforehand. Of course, Mitch was bound to discover what readers know already about Nicole’s secret life, but the dialogue was so formulaic that there was a total lack of dramatic impact. Despite Kuranel’s good facial expressions, the scene has no added resonance, and at the end of this emotional climax, Mitch is even more unlikable than before, since he resorted to shaking Denise by her shoulders in violent impatience and frustration.
After the spotlight leaves Mitch, the action thankfully becomes less rote and melodramatic and more suitably mysterious with the appearance of sinister, bored men in suits. However, we only get a glimpse of these new players before “Point of Impact” #2 ends on a soft cliffhanger.
Kuranel’s black and white artwork matches the tone of the story, and he handles a wide range of body movements and faces. However, his inking emphasizes outlines and angles much more than three-dimensional shape, and at times the bodies and faces of supporting characters feel paper-doll-like or stiff. Boone’s taciturn mass and Rafferty’s verbose, nervy restlessness make for a great character contrast, and Kuranel carries through Boone’s Punisher-like physique and Mitch’s wiry, more compact body in their respective movements as well as their appearances.
Faerber’s choice to make the last page silent gives the closing action a great, slowed-down suspense and pace. Despite its uneven plotting and characterization, “Point of Impact” #2 did leave me still curious about the possible conspiracy behind Nicole’s death, and how each character fits into the puzzle.