Review – Loose Ends #1

Immediately I’m intrigued by Loose Ends based on the cover phrase “A 4-issue Southern Crime Drama”. I wonder what is different about crime dramas in the deep south. Cooler accents? In any case, this title is published by 12-Gauge Comics with Jason Latour putting the story together, Chris Brunner on the art and Rico Renzi filling out the talent with colors.

The issue opens with Sonny sitting in a parking lot next to a pay phone just waiting for a call while bar the lot belongs too brings him beer after beer. That always ends well right? Apparently Sonny is making a “run” for an unnamed person over the phone.

The waitress is an attractive woman named Sheri. From here we're treated to a flashback to Sonny and a buddy – and apparent partner – named Rej. As far as I can tell Rej is the one who set Sonny up on this current run, despite the fact that Sonny initially refused. So what is the run? How about getting some dope to Florida from the Carolinas? That sounds dangerous. It is.

So Sonny isn’t just at this bar randomly. The other person working that night is Kim – apparently the mother of Sonny’s child. Near as I can tell Rej, Sonny and Kim were stationed together in Afghanistan. There are some dialogue hints and a brief flashback scene that seem to corroborate that.

You’ll notice that I wrote "as far as I can tell” and “near as I can tell” and that is probably indicative of the one flaw I can point out in this book. The story is really unclear. I get that Loose Ends might be some foreshadowing in the title and that there is supposed to be SOME mystery, but given that this is a 4-issue mini-series I’m surprised a little more about the backgrounds of the main characters wasn’t revealed. There isn’t THAT much time.

One other sequence that was a little strange was that right after a bar fight that you can see coming a mile away the scene immediately switches to Rej getting in a car wreck. The events that followed are jarring and there isn’t really a smooth transition into the change of scenery.

Now I don’t mean to bash on this title. It has real potential and there are some twists right off the bat that keep things going well. The artwork by Brunner and Renzi reminds me a lot of Greg Tocchini’s work in Last Days of American Crime – a type of art style I LOVE. It fits the scenery but there are lots of other touches like the swirling thoughts above Sonny’s head while he is getting drunk in the bar that I thought were unique.

I also genuinely liked the story so far and the situation that everyone is left it at the end of this issue is most definitely a cliffhanger with a hook. I just wish some of the transitions from one scene to another had been smoother and that I knew a LITTLE more about the connections between people. I’m sure I will learn that and for the art and really good action sequences this one is definitely worth a second look when the next issue comes out.

Don’t take my word for it though…check it out for yourself! Happy reading.