REVIEW: Potter's Field #2



Writer/Creator: Mark Waid

Artist: Paul Azaceta

Company: Boom Studios

It’s actually a bit unnerving to read the second issue of a comic after you’ve reviewed the first issue, and discover that the creator seems to have addressed every single criticism you had. (No, I don’t think my review in any way affected what went into this issue – even if it was chronologically possible, I’m just an internet peon.) Make the protagonist less invincible? Check. Address the fact that we know next to nothing about the protagonist? Check. Move the focus from the dead to the living? Double check.

Said protagonist, the previously unflappable Mr. John Doe, gets pretty heavily flapped in this issue, when someone interrupts his life’s quest to bring a name and a story to the anonymous dead found in the Potter’s Field. He gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity (replete with identical twins) and a turf war between rival crime families (all of which he finds awfully distracting, I’m sure).

This issue has a bit less of a noir feeling than the previous, but gives up a lot more juice storyline-wise. We learn more about the city sounding JD, and about the supporting players that feed him info, stitch him up when he gets hurt, get him into places that most can’t, etc. There’s a scene towards the end between two of these said players that very neatly sets up the whole “Who is this guy?” motif in two tightly written pages.

The fact that John’s choice of weapon is decidedly non-lethal is yet another character-setting point: this seems like the last guy on the planet who would hesitate to carry a “Dirty Harry”-esque firearm. The teaser blurb for issue 3 on the Boom Studios web site promises even more hints to John Doe’s origins. If the creative team delivers on that in this consistent method, this could be an enjoyable read for a long time.

Rating: 7 out of 10