by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palimiotti (words), Jesus Saiz (art), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Peter Pantazis (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Joe Jusko (cover art), Kristy Quinn (assitant editor), Bob Harras (editor). created by Jimmy Palimiotti and Justin Gray.
Wildstorm Comics, Price : $2.95
Thoughts : The second story arc begins with this issue and the real test for this series begins. There wasn’t a review I read that made this series look bad in any light, but as things move ahead can Palmiotti and Gray push the series beyond its initial acclaim or will it become stale and die off? If this issue is any indication of what’s to come, this series is only getting better.
Things open up pretty wide open with this issue as readers get a real good look at who Neptune is and how he operates. When Mickey first told Preston about her daughter and Neptune readers got a little taste of how serious things were about to get. Mickey has enlisted Preston’s help in order to help her find and rescue her daughter, Alex, from Neptune, but in this issue we find out that Alex isn’t afriad of where she is and seems to make Neptune a little afraid of her. Alex is going to be an interesting character the more readers get to see of her.
Palmiotti and Gray are really developing some strong characters in this series and are bringing in readers and a lot of positive reviews because they are not trying to shock readers or try and use single moments in an issue to bring readers in or keep them, but they are producing solid stories. Its those solid stories and not screwing around with the reader that is really going to set this series apart and give it the longevity it needs to make it in this market. The biggest thing is for the comic buyer out there to take the chance and pick up an issue and see for themselves.
the Verdict : There’s no doubt that 21 DOWN was one of the best titles at the end of 2002 and as 2003 continues to press forward this series continues to become something better with each issue. Palmiotti and Gray are the new writing team of 2003 and comic buyers better be paying attention now or they may get left behind.