Reviewer: Mathan â€œGenesisâ€ Erhardt
Story Title: Contractual Obligations
Written by: John Francis Moore
Penciled by: Wes Craig
Inked by: Prentis Rollins
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Colored by: Avalon Studios
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Focus/DC Comics
The DC Focus line is a real bright spot in a pretty well lit industry. The refreshing take on super powers and normal people is certainly welcome, and at times invigorating. â€œHard Timeâ€ has proven to be one of the best books on the market. While â€œKineticâ€ didn’t blow me away, it didn’t leave me sour either. Now we come to â€œTouch.â€
The issue opens with four construction workers trapped in a collapsing building that they were working on. Suddenly, Rory Goodman bursts in and rescues them with his super strength. After the rescue, we see a representative of the construction company’s insurance company cut Cooper Santiago a check for the services rendered by Rory.
Later Rory and Cooper make an appearance on a Larry King type talk show, where the host begins to question Rory about a subject that he doesn’t wish to discuss; the death of his wife. Rory storms off the set. After the incident Cooper chides Rory for his actions. We begin to get the idea that perhaps Cooper is manipulating Rory, but since Rory works for Cooper at Supernova Solutions that is to be expected.
Cooper leaves Rory at the bar in a casino and goes upstairs to take a meeting with someone interested in endorsing Rory. Downstairs a drunken guy picks a fight with Rory and touches a nerve. Rory loses it, and demolishes the bar. Cooper calms him down, but the damage is done.
The next day, Cooper and his associate Parrish attempt to spin some damage control. Sadly, it’s too late, as the endorser wants to squash the deal. And with that Cooper decides what has to be done.
Now I’m not going to say what happens during those last seven pages, but I will say that it surprised me. In fact, it surprised me so much that I immediately reread the issue (even though I still hadn’t given every book this week a â€œonce over.â€)
I can’t say that I’m a long time fan of Moore’s work. But I can say that just this year I picked up his series â€œChronosâ€ and I loved it. When I saw his name on the cover I did have some expectations. But once I started reading, they all evaporated. He weaves a nice tight story here. Moore drops clues that things may not be on the level. But even noting the clues the ending catches you off guard. The cliffhanger is pretty captivating.
Craig and Rollins make a great team. Their depiction of Cooper just lets you know how uptight the character really is. And they convey how Rory’s grief has made him naÃ¯ve very well. In a book that starts in the midst of the action, the clear crisp art keeps every thing straight. All the characters have distinct visual characteristics.