Review - I.C.E. #2

In the comic world there aren’t too many comics about real world jobs or modern day times, as most are superhero filled or focus on some far away ancient land. 12-Gauge Comics decided to address this lack by creating the series I.C.E., based on the Immigration and Custom Enforcement division. Out today is the second issue of the series and while they certainly brought the action in this one, I felt it was a bit lacking compared to the first issue.

When I spoke of action I wasn’t kidding as right off the first page you get a bomb hidden in a baby carriage blowing up a surveillance van and kicking off a huge gunfight between I.C.E, a S.W.A.T. Team and the cartel man Morales they're all after. Basically all sorts of craziness breaking loose when the man in charge Cole decides enough is enough and let's his team open up on the gunmen.

That sequence reflects one of the bright spots of this series- the action is pretty intense with gritty artwork by Jose Holder. It's also a bit dark that at times using mostly wide shots before finally focusing on a character or their face to show the impact of the panel. Other times the characters are a not as defined, but the scene and action going on around them is finely detailed. A nice contrast I liked.

One of the few problems I have with this issue is that, at times, the panel layout felt like writer Doug Wagner was cramming too much onto a page. It was a bit disorientating to read a couple of the pages. I also didn’t like how some of the pages flowed, as you were kinda jumping all over the page to read the story. There were times when you found yourself reading the wrong panel and having to go back to the one before to match it to what should be next.

Another downside I see with the comic is the cop story clichés they put into it that feels like was a bit of a shortcut done for the story. I know there have been so many movies, TV shows, books and the likes that have done all these sorts before, but I felt they could have done a little more with the story.

This is only the second issue and I'm sure the next one will take it up a notch again in addition to throwing the story through a new loop that the reader will not see coming.