Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hook Jaw #4 - Titan Comics

HOOK JAW No. 4, April 2017
Featuring a script far more in keeping with the titular character’s Seventies “Action Comics” exploits than its disappointing 21st Century re-imagining, Si Spurrier’s script for Issue Four of “Hook Jaw” genuinely seems to play out like something from a Peter Benchley novel, with its deeply disturbing death of an eco-activist at the comic’s start and subsequent sharp-toothed surfacings. Indeed, apart from the Englishman’s disconcerting insistence on having the giant shark supposedly rationalise and consider which person to eat when faced with a choice, rather than simply be a predatory killing machine, this twenty-two page periodical proves an increasingly enthralling read.

For starters, the threat of the huge Carcharodon carcharias clamping its jaws around some hapless victim at any moment is prevalent throughout this publication’s narrative, and resultantly the bizarre, thoroughly tedious machinations of CIA operative Dow, thankfully take a noticeable back seat for large portions of the book. True, the equally as annoying “disguised Navy SEAL Clint” and obtuse scientist Jasper still prove wearisomely displeasing. But at least the overweight “racist” dolphin-lover finally comes to a bloody end, when he’s purposely knocked overboard in to the Somalian waters by his former “kitchen boy” and immediately consumed by the “legendary great white” shark; “Where is it where is it £$%& God No No No.”

Just as suspenseful is the Eagle Award-nominee’s writing for the scene where Laurie’s colleague Mag is hung out over the side of a pirate vessel in anticipation that the foul-mouthed marine biologist will be torn in half. Just why a sliver of Uncle Ayub’s dismembered frozen finger can somehow draw the giant shark to attack is never properly explored, it just “£$%&in’ works!” and provides “rising star Conor Boyle” with a splash page opportunity straight out of the pencilling portfolio of original series artist Ramon Sola… 

Sadly, despite this definite nod “at its primogenitor”, Spurrier’s plot still seemingly struggles to decide whether it’s actually a monster story at heart, or some sort of secret government thriller where the Americans have been building “a machine to fix the world.” This indecision becomes especially befuddling towards the book’s conclusion when the loathsome Dow suddenly intimates she’s actually an Earth-saving environmentalist, and explains that the stolen technology the Somalian pirates have lost is in fact a “climate change, global weirding” device that “can damn sure stitch” the atmospheric wound causing the world’s temperature to warm-up..?
The regular cover art of "HOOK JAW" No. 4 by Conor Boyle

4 comments:

  1. Yawn! I lost interest in this series after issue #1. It could and should have been so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly aren't missing anything, Bryan. But this issue was actually not too bad to be honest.

      Delete
  2. Almost sound's tempting, the artwork doesn't seem as gritty as the original series though. Please, Please, Please Rebellion do a reprint of the original series

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't sadly recommend this series, Dave. But this issue was the best so far; albeit that isn't saying much tbh. A Reprint would be awesome!!!

      Delete