Reviewer: Mathan “The Magician” Erhardt
Story Title: Baller: Part 4
Written by: Gary Phillips
Penciled, inked and cover by: Shawn Martinbrough
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Last issue ended with Nate Hollis facing down the barrel of a gun. This issue begins with the reveal that Theo Burnett is the guy holding the gun. Nate tries to convince Theo to turn himself in, but Theo’s aunt, Flo, urges otherwise. Nate makes the mistake of accidentally knocking Flo down, which enrages Theo. Theo knocks Nate down and makes a break for it.
Nate chases Theo down the street, until a mob of citizens who support Theo surround Nate and begin a beatdown. Nate ends up in jail, where D.A. Pope and Detective Regus interrogate him. They question him about Theo’s whereabouts, and he gives very little up. Nate’s lawyer, Monica Orozco, and his grandfather bail him out.
Meanwhile the bounty hunter Irma Deuce gets a tip about the whereabouts of Theo. L.A. Voice writer Ronald Harper also begins to investigate the case of Theo Burnett. And finally Nate pays a visit to Theo’s coach, on the hunch that he might be hiding Theo.
The hunch pays off and the two go to help convince Theo to turn himself in. Unfortunately they are followed by a couple of Paul Teddy’s goons. To be concluded.
I’m really loving the story that Phillips has set up. All of the characters seem to actually exist. They’ve all got distinct voices and motivations. They also have plenty of secrets. Thus far the story has been a blast to read. I’m sure next month’s concluding chapter won’t disappoint.
Martinbrough sure draws some attractive women, which is one of the joys of the issue. His art is flawless as always. Loughridge deserves plenty of credit for coloring the various colors in various shades of “brown”, which is an accurate depiction of community. It’s nice to see minority characters that aren’t all the same color brown.