Jack Staff is usually a fun book, but this issue in particular was extremely well done, as Paul Grist demonstrates a true mastery on comic book storytelling in this issue (to go along with his always obvious awesome looking artwork).
The story revolves around an alternate reality, where Becky Burdock, rather than being a Vampire Reporter, is a Vampire HUNTER, and where Jack Staff, instead of being Britain’s best hero, is its worst villain! It’s a simple enough concept, but we have gotten to the point nowadays where a plot like this would usually take an issue to present the situation where the alternate reality comes about, then an issue to explain that we’re in an alternate reality, then two issues IN the alternate reality, and finally an issue resolving the plot (and maybe an extra issue for an epilogue). Grist, instead, chooses to handle everything in ONE issue, and he does so without the reader feeling as though they missed out on anything.
THAT’S a mastery of the form right there.
The reality chimp bit is a bit on the dorky side, but Grist makes up for it by embracing the concept so much that you soon sort of buy the idea of a chimp who goes around fixing altered realities, followed by his own theme song.
Grist’s artwork is excellent in the book (duh!), and I like the few tricky bits he does with his art, like when they travel through the pages of the comic itself. I always dig it when artists try stuff like that.
The main heart of the story is upon the feelings of Becky Burdock – she believes she is a Vampire HUNTER, so when faced with the possibility of returning to the “real” reality where she is the very creature that she hunts, it is something that she struggles with mightily, and it is great to see the evil Jack Staff still present himself as the “good guy” of the piece, even while being a criminal.
A vastly entertaining comic, filled with story, with great artwork – Paul Grist has another rousing success on his hand! Jack Staff is the prototypical example of “the best comic you’re not reading.”
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