Snapshot #3

Story by
Art by
Letters by
Clem Robins
Cover by
Image Comics

"Snapshot" #3 is the pay-dirt issue for Andy Diggle and Jock's techno-thriller miniseries. In "Snapshot" #1 and #2, readers were dazzled and confused by seemingly impossible and nonsensical events. Why did Jonathan Twain appear dead in the phone snapshot that started Jake down the rabbit-hole and into a cat-and-mouse chase with Keller? How and why did Twain turn up alive later? Why are several people missing their pinky fingers? What exactly is Bravura Acquisitions, and what do they want? All is revealed in "Snapshot" #3 in a series of domino-like revelations.

Unfortunately, the answers are far more mundane and boring than the questions. Diggle and Jock have a great sense of staging and timing, but the content of these revelations are at once both melodramatic and anticlimactic. In particular, the confrontation scene after the first page of "Snapshot" #3 is far-fetched, especially the revelation about Callie's family, which feels right out of a bad action movie or soap opera. However, the puzzle pieces do fit together, and the answers do make a kind of crazy action-thriller sense. From there, "Snapshot" #3 shifts into a car chase mode. The suspense accordingly picks up again, but there's still the manipulated feeling of an action movie in how the explosions seem staged for the sake of explosions.

However, it's hard to complain about all the noise and dragging out of suspense, because Jock's handling of the action is spectacular. The visuals almost justify the excesses of the plot and the reader's resulting efforts to maintain a suspension of disbelief.

Throughout "Snapshot" #3, Jock's art is excellent, especially in his clean, smooth-flowing page and panel compositions and his interplay of light and shadow in black and white. In every panel, the direction of light is clear, and the effects are beautifully minimalistic. Jock's charcoal like smears of gray look fluid and almost illusion-like in how they use the power of suggestion to indicate a pane of glass or the curve of a car bumper. Similarly, his splotchy, splayed feathery silhouettes suggest trees and bushes on the side of the road in the sequence in which Callie and Jack are in a police van. As the action at the end of "Snapshot" #3 escalates, Jock's line becomes more frenzied, heavier and more jumbled. The artwork significantly bumps up the emotional resonance and suspense of these pages, and the strength of "Snapshot" #3 as a whole.

"Snapshot" #3 delivers on plenty of action and answers. It lacks for deeper meaning and narrative resonance beyond the wild ride, and action itself isn't the most original after the mystery is unraveled. However, Diggle's narrative pacing and Jock's stellar artwork bump the miniseries into something still worth checking out.

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