Death, Cold as Steel #2 and 3

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Death, Cold as Steel #2 and 3 Writer(s): Bram Meehan
Artist(s): Jamie Chase
From: USA
Price: US $2.99 each.

Norris is investigating the death of the indestructible man. There aren’t many leads, but even so the G-Men are worried that he might stumble onto the truth and have warned him off. It’s a shame for them and a pleasure for the reader that Norris isn’t one to take uninvited advice.

This book is hardboiled through and through. Norris takes the bruises but keeps looking, all the dames look slightly devious, and two-bit thugs lurk in every dark alleyway.

The core plot here owes much to Alan Moore’s Watchman series so those of you looking for truly original storytelling will be disappointed. But the style in which this series tells its tale makes it a satisfying read. Jamie’s art work is a real pleasure to look at. It drives the story along with a series of striking images that invite careful examination. The simple line work achieves a photographic quality, enhanced by some distortion that occurs where individual panels seem to have been resized to fit the page layout. I know that sounds like it might look rubbish, but here it gave the images an emphasis that I enjoyed.

Monica Meehan is credited here with letters and production, and she deserves attention for her work because these comics look great. This and her art work in the sister title Raised by Squirrels are some of the best produced comic books I’ve seen for a while. Panel Press have a real creative asset here.

While this series isn’t an epic blockbuster of a comic, it’s memorable both in narrative and visuals. It’s certainly worth tracking down.

In a Word: Impact.

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