Distinguished by some great-looking art, Image miniseries “Point of Impact” is proving to be a stylish if slightly superficial police procedural.
Written by Jay Faerber
Illustrated by Koray Kuranel
Chapter Two of JAY FAERBER’s thrilling murder mystery! The victim’s secret boyfriend is the prime suspect in her murder – and the cop leading the investigation will stop at nothing to catch him. Meanwhile, the victim’s husband learns there’s a lot about his wife he didn’t know.
Journalist Mitchell Rafferty is having a hard time of things. Not only has his wife just been killed (by being thrown from a building into the street below, hence the title); he’s now learning that she had been keeping some major secrets from him. Add to this the mysterious figure who broke into his apartment last issue, and who now seems to be keeping tabs on the investigation into the death of Rafferty’s wife, and you’ve got a stressful situation… even for a newspaper reporter.
It’s all wound pretty tight (this is a miniseries after all), and while the story is a familiar one, the pacing is snappy enough to keep interest levels high. If there’s a flaw in the writing here, it’s that the characters are a little flat: we’ve got a lot of them to keep track of between Rafferty, the mysterious man, and the police investigating the murder, and even with all the fun melodramatic plot elements going on it’s hard to say whether any of these characters inches ahead in terms of readerly sympathy. Drama is drama, though, and if anything, it’s the mystery as a whole that takes center stage, with the characters serving as props to move it along. Again, this is a fairly familiar formula for a crime story, and as it moves toward its conclusion, it will be the big reveal (what’s this mysterious guy up to?) that will either distinguish this comic from its similar cousins or fail to do so.
Koray Kunel’s art is likely the best thing about this title; getting across a definite 1940s feel (even though the story seems to be set in the present day), these black and white pages are so polished-looking and sharply composed that just flipping through the comic is a real pleasure. But the storytelling is great too, running on lots of strong camera angles and energetic layouts, and Kunel often makes innovative use of gutter space in order to keep the shapes of the panels diverse. Whether or not the movement being depicted will come across is a bit iffy, and varies from panel to panel, but there is a standout page in that respect: as a policeman chases a suspect across a rooftop and finds his view cut off by line after line of drying laundry, the gentle waving of the sheets in the breeze has a wonderfully eerie effect. It’s wordless page, played for suspense, and it’s certainly got that going on in spades.
Charles Pritchett’s lettering, meanwhile, is fun and energetic, the slightly unusually shaped speech bubbles fitting in well with Kunel’s more angular art style. There is something a little odd going on with a newspaper featured in one panel, though: the fonts are off, as is the spacing, and a casual glance reveals that the space-filling text is written in Latin. If the panel isn’t going to make explicit what the newspaper actually reads, it might be better to make the text look more abstract (i.e., illegible squiggles) or just too small to read. But this is definitely a quibble, and one that’s easily overshadowed by all the other great things going on artwise in this issue.
Overall “Point of Impact” is a fun little read that is sure to entertain with its slightly soapy mix of police procedural and melodrama. There are deeper comics on the shelves today, but with its sharp artwork and strong pacing, it’s definitely worth a look.
Final Verdict: 7.8 — Buy