REVIEW: 21 Down #10

“State of Emergency” – Roadside Attractions, Part Three

by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti (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 : “Roadside Attration” has not been the thriller of a story arc that “Consuit” was, but I think there’s been a lot more developement with the lead characters making this a solid story arc thus far. The idea of manifesting a part of your psyche into physical form is something that has been seen before in comics, but I think the way that its portrayed in this story arc is really something interesting. Hank Champion isn’t a crazed killer or anything like that. He’s a soldier who went through some rough times and was subjected to some dangerous experiments in order for him to become a ‘super soldier’. One thing that we get to see in this story arc is the ramifications of those actions by Champion and those that made him into what he is today.

Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti started off with two titles at Wildstorm, RESISTANCE and 21 DOWN. Both were solid as far as story, characters, and art, but sometimes its the roll of the dice. This time out 21 DOWN won, and Gray and Palmiotti are really taking advantage of the cult like following of this series. I’ve said in the past that this series is one of the best written titles I’ve seen in the last couple of years. The characters are some carbon copy of popular characters, or take offs of those same characters. Gray and Palmiotti really want the readers to get inside these characters and they open them up in every issue to one more part of their lives. They want the readers to actually care about the characters, and this is something that’s lost on a lot of books being written these days.

A growing character in this series is Mickey’s daughter, Alex. The subplot building with her as a captive of the mysterious Neptune is really developing nicely and the exploration of her abilities is really going to be something that really effects this series down the road. Its good to see a solid subplot is being put together and that there’s more to this series than the quest of Mickey and Preston to find out who Herod is since this storyline is running through a number of Wildstorm titles. There’s more to this series than just fitting into the Wildstorm Universe.

Each and every issue, the art team of Jesus Saiz, Jimmy Palmiotti and Peter Pantazis crank out a series with some of the best art that I’ve seen as a whole. Neither artists seems to override the other and really each help one another as a art team should. Saiz and Palmiotti provide some crisp art and each panel is clearly brought to life thanks to Pantazis’s colors.

the Verdict : Again, month after month, this series is a top notch series that demands to be noticed by those readers that aren’t looking. Look for this issue, look for past issue, and be on the watch for more 21 DOWN in the future. Forget the fact this series is a critically successful series, and look at it for the quality that so many readers are trying to explain. This is the series that everyone is just beginning to talk about. Don’t get left in the dust.

Highly Recommended