Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Constriction
Written by: Daniel Way
Art by: Steve Dillon
Colored by: Avalon Studios’ Dan Kemp
Lettered by: VC’s Randy Gentile
Editor: Axel Alonso
Publisher: Marvel Knights/ Marvel Comics
Now this”¦this is more like it.
I reviewed the first issue of this last month (available at this link) and was less than pleased. I came to the table with a lot of baggage and expectations (I love me some Bullseye) and found them to be not nearly met. That is why it is such a relief to read this issue.
Because it is actually quite good.
The art team, the lone highlight for me last issue, remains just as strong. The Deodato cover is just an excellent bit of dark humor, very well suited for the character. I particularly enjoy the sepia tone (except Bullseye) which gives it an old time photo feel.
Dillon’s interiors also remain high class. I sang the praises of his facial expression work last time and I have to do it again. In particular, he does a great job with Bullseye (which makes sense, given he is the lead and all). Whether it be his young punk attitude as a rookie pitcher or his transition in the present day from smug satisfaction to almost humility (when first asked about his baseball gear) to annoyance with Baldry trying to relate to him. It is almost entirely done without words and the expression are never over the top, but you always not what is being conveyed. It is all very impressive.
Storywise, we have thankfully left the abusive childhood beyond (except for one brief moment) and the narrative is more compelling without it. Bullseye casual demeanor about what is a fairly heinous crime, especially considering his reasoning for committing it, reinforces his sociopathic nature without beating us over the head with it. This feels like Bullseye to me this time out.
Baldry gets more interesting this time out as well. In one standout scene, Baldry encourages Hoskins to work out his frustration on the expensive equipment around him, telling the warden telling the warden that he’ll write a check for the damages without blinking an eye. In some ways, he comes across as the human mirror of Bullseye, similarly unflappable and dedicated to his goals. I also appreciate how authentic his psych speak is as many writers these days know the words but rarely how to arrange them in a manner that someone actually in the field of psychology would.
Last time out, I said this book could go either way, but I never expected it to be this much better.