Hard Time #10 Review


Reviewer: Mathan “This is more and more like Oz every month” Erhardt
Story Title: Sucker’s Game

Written by: Steve Gerber
Penciled and inked by: Brian Hurtt
Lettered by: Pat Brosseau
Colored by: Wildstorm FX
Editor: Joan Hilty
Publisher: DC Focus/DC Comics

Last issue ended with Curly getting upset at a package Ethan gave to him. It turns out that the package contained a letter and picture from a woman who claimed to be his granddaughter. This information is serious enough for Curly to have some chest pains.

After getting out of the infirmary Curly decides that he wants to get to know his newfound family, but since all he has is an email address he needs Ethan’s help in learning about computers.

Meanwhile in the outside world, Turo’s pregnant girlfriend Mercedes finds out more about her current living situation, which is serves not only as a safe house for gang girlfriends, but also as an emergency room for gang members, without all that messy paperwork.

Both Ethan and Curly are granted access to the computers in prison on one condition; Ethan gets his G.E.D. After that Ethan bumps into Mullins, an inmate who knows about Ethan’s ability to “leave” his body, who warns Ethan that he won’t be able to keep doing it and live for much longer, so says Kaga na Yu’usha.

The Aryans, who are still upset about Swifty’s death, threaten Turo, but implying that his Mercedes could easily be harmed. Turo, calls her to check in and she begins to pressure him to marry her, so their child won’t be a bastard. Back in B-block, Cindy and Cole adjust to their new living situation as cellmates.

Then we flash to Shady Grove, where Alyssa, one of the students traumatized my Ethan’s attack on his school is still haunted by flashbacks of the incident. She finds comfort in Mrs. Teabury and her stories of Kaga na Yu’usha.

While catching some sun in the prison yard, Ethan falls asleep and drifts out of his body. Unfortunately that leaves his body vulnerable as a group of prisoners approach him. To be continued.

Gerber has so many stories going on in this issue. Every prisoner has their own story, and it makes you wish the book were 80 pages every month. I have grown to actually care about Ethan and his fellow prisoners. Gerber has also crafted a story that rings pretty true to the real world. This book has some of the most compelling characters in comic books today.

Hurtt continues to make this book look great. Curly’s look of fear on page #2 is so well done. It perfectly captures the emotion that he’s feeling. Alyssa’s flashback was also well conveyed, as was her retreat into Mrs. Teabury’s world. Hurtt has done 10 issues without a fill in artist. That’s an accomplishment.