Ever since the first issue of “Ten Grand” came out, I’ve been anxiously awaiting issue #2. This series by J. Michael Straczynski and Ben Templesmith is simply riveting. Issue #2 does not disappoint – it carries forward a great storyline and adds even more twists that will have me biting nails until the next issue comes out. Did I say I like this series? Yes I did…and so will you if you give it a shot.
“Ten Grand” follows Joe Fitzgerald, a formed mob enforcer who was looking for a way out to spend his life with the one true love of his life, Laura. But, it was not to be, as his last target was heavily into demonology and killed both Joe and Laura. Joe was given a strange bargain – return to earth and become a different kind of enforcer, and each time he dies a righteous death he would gain 5 minutes visitation with his love in Heaven before returning to life to start it all over again. When he’s not fulfilling tasks for his angelic boss, he takes on cases to help out others, with a price of $10,000…high enough to weed out all except those who truly need his help.
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!
In the first issue Joe took on the assignment of helping a woman named Debbie track down her sister, who had joined a cult called Divine Will. As it turns out, the leader of that cult is the same person who killed Joe and Laura…but that shouldn’t be as Joe killed that man two years ago! Joe goes to Divine Will and finds a lot of trouble, starting with incantations being pumped through the speakers along with the music everyone is dancing to. Joe also finds a Fleshist – a demon who has taken over a human’s body in order to experience the sensations it could never feel on it’s own. This demon has an agenda, one that could spell disaster for Joe…as could the “message” Debbie is being forced to deliver to him. It all leads to a twist that calls everything – and everyone – into question, and leaves even the heavenly Laura in danger.
Straczynski is weaving a masterpiece with this story. Joe Fitzgerald is a compelling and tragic character who was so transformed by love that he is willing to die over and over again just to spend a few minutes with the person he loves…and yet he is also so formidable that anyone who takes him lightly does so at their own peril. Ben Templesmith’s artwork is spot on throughout, expressing the dark nature of the story with effective use of color and shadow. I’m impressed by this series – it is already a favorite and I cannot wait for more of this great series from Image and Joe’s Comics!