Wednesday, 5 May 2021

The Recount #2 - Scout Comics

THE RECOUNT No. 2, February 2021
Dripping with suspense, terror and outright treachery, Jonathan Hedrick’s narrative for Issue Two of “The Recount” disconcertingly depicts a modern-day America where literally no-one is safe from a gun-toting maniac, not even the recently sworn in President of the United States. Yet whilst some lesser authors might have used this scary situation as an opportunity to simply depict the enormity of the nation’s large scale unrest with some sweepingly grand scenes of unruly rioting in the streets, the American author instead cleverly focuses upon a few personal moments of murder, which both brings a truly emotional aspect to this comic’s storytelling, as well as gives its victims an all-too believable vulnerability; “Eighteen and a soldier. Now he’s dead. That masked guy on TV is right. You voted for Christensen… And you should be punished.”

Of course, the main thrust of this twenty-four page periodical’s plot is Special Agent Barto’s desperate attempt to get her Commander-In-Chief safely back to the White House, and their pulse-pounding drive towards Pennsylvania Avenue doesn’t disappoint as their car quickly comes under attack from a jeep packed full of heavily-armed lunatics. However, this desperate dash for survival is made all the more impactive as it follows directly on from a truly harrowing sequence of well-meaning Americans being cold-bloodedly gunned down by fanatics whilst they are simply going about their day-to-day business.

In addition, Hedrick doesn’t seemingly fall into the trap of turning Meredith McDearmon’s sole saviour into some sort of omnipotent super-cop either, but simply pens the woman as being proficient at her job. Indeed, one of this publication’s highlights is the somewhat antagonistic relationship the bodyguard and Madame President quickly develop, with Barto’s boss being far from happy just to silently cower from her enemies in the back of an armoured vehicle. Let alone take ‘orders’ from the “badass secret service agent.”

Just as enjoyable as this book’s script are Gabriel Ibarra-Nunez’s excellent layouts, which do a first-rate job of imbuing his figures with plenty of personality and sentiment. The action scenes are as dynamic as any reader could surely want, whilst the Santiago-born artist’s ability to etch the sheer terror on the face of Abe as his neighbour guns him down in his own flat is gut-wrenchingly graphic.

Writer: Jonathan Hedrick, Artist: Gabriel Ibarra-Nunez, and Colorist: Sunil Ghagre

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