Sunday, 14 October 2018

Like Father, Like Daughter #4 - Short Fuse Media Group

Featuring a disconcertingly foreboding cover illustration by Wayne A. Brown depicting a mortally-wounded Invulnerable potentially ‘bleeding out’ in the arms of his estranged teenage daughter, this twenty-two periodical’s narrative may well have proved something of a disappointment during its early stages as it depicts this series’ leading cast predominantly just ‘innocently’ sitting inside a regular diner eating hamburgers, drinking milkshakes and talking about Jim’s investigative incompetence. However, despite this debatably drawn-out sequence being discouragingly dialogue-heavy, it rather cleverly helps build up the book’s tension by slowly helping the publication, as well as the reader, count down towards the time until the titular character receives his ever-impending life-threatening injury.    

In fact, by the time “Casey decides that the best way to learn about her powers, is by going right to the source” and visits her father’s childhood orphanage, it is almost impossible to ‘shake off’ the pulse-poundingly palpable anticipation that at any moment a shot will suddenly ring out so as to lay the colourful crime-fighter fatally low. Of course, such an injury to a super-hero who has already proven himself impervious to bullets in previous editions does seem highly unlikely, especially when the pair are faced with nothing more formidable than an innocent looking elderly care-worker who was seemingly like a mother to Jim back when he was a boy, and a pot of tea which Invulnerable grew up drinking.

Yet the beauty of Kathryn Calamia’s story-telling is that despite the frail octogenarian’s appearance, the doddering woman’s sickly sweet politeness, uncanny ability to locate Jim’s old files almost instantaneously, as well as disconcerting strength of will to ensure both Wesley and Stephanie are separated from their blonde friend, all combine to subconsciously suggest that the super-powered pair could actually be in real jeopardy; A ‘spider-sense’ sensation which quickly resolves itself into hardened fact when the American author later pens “Mom” admitting to her mysterious employer that she has successfully placed a tracker upon her former ward so as to do "your country honour.”

Interestingly though, when the schoolgirl’s hyper-muscled father is finally shot in the chest, having stumbled upon an armed robbery which suspiciously occurs right before his eyes, the “new direction” upon which this first story-arc concludes does not arguably follow that implied by Brown’s pencilling either, but rather depicts a “surprising” reconciliation between Comic Uno’s titular characters. Indeed, despite his wound, the greatest threat to Invulnerable’s well-being would seemingly be his body’s ability to repair the injury before Casey has an opportunity to remove the bullet and his daughter's apologetic hug for being so awful to him since they first met…
Written & Created by: Kathryn Calamia, Pencils & Inks by: Wayne A. Brown, and Colors by: David Aravena

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