By Jason Mott
March 23, 2007 - 10:00
Artist: Luc Jacamon
What do you do when you’re a hitman and a hit goes bad? What happens when what was supposed to be a simple one-shot-one-kill job in gay Parí winds up being a three corpse bloodbath fowl up? You hit the Venezuelan beaches for some rest and relaxation. What else? Issue three of The Killer puts our disturbed soldier of fortune at his hideaway home in Venezuela trying to recover his sanity after his latest job goes bad. Unbeknownst to our gunman, he’s being followed by a determined French policeman. Of course, eventually, our killer does what a killer does—with flair no less. Then, having left a warm, pulpy snack for the Venezuelan crocodiles, he tracks down his “agent” to find out how a cop managed to get so close. Then things get gritty. Things get tense. Everyone in the story reeks of betrayal. Everyone casts the shadow of a jackal. And somewhere in all of that, our hero prays for sanity.
With issue three, The Killer continues to bloom like cherry blossoms in spring, quietly and with lots and lots of red that looks distinctly like blood. Tracking the deteriorating sanity of our (still nameless) assassin is just as tense and tragic to watch with this issue as it has been with the previous two issues. Matz does a great job of balancing the recurring theme of a downward spiral into insanity with the overall forward-moving story. Not only is our “hero” falling apart, but he can’t just sit in his bedroom and brood. No sir. Matz kicks him out the front door with both feet, straight into the middle of rush hour traffic. Matz keeps this story away from the stereotypical assassin story by giving us a sociopath that is neither the Billy Kincaid dullard of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, but neither is he the “I’ve been planning this all along” Hannibal Lecter supervillan. He’s simply a smart guy, just a shade above average, but with a determined mind and the skills that come with determination. Matz uses this unique perspective to give us a crazy bad guy worth paying attention to. But, Matz does lose a few points with the use of the very trite “someone betrayed me to the cops” element of the story. I had hoped that Matz would steer clear of that element which can be seen coming from the very synopsis of the story, but I’m willing to believe that Matz, eventually, will do something different as things move on.
Luc Jacamon continues to impress with his use of hard, well-defined lines that still manage to achieve a rough, edgy fluidity. Looking at Jacamon’s artwork is like watching a river of small crystals writhe, flow and undulate in a hypnotic current of sharp, vibrant colors. He manages to build his artwork with an amalgam of simple, basic shapes that somehow all fit together like a well-built brick house. Jacamon makes the visually complex look simple. His pacing of The Killer is flawless and he seems to have gotten past the brief periods of choppiness that slithered their way into the latter part of the last issue. Jacamon also presents himself as a burgeoning master of layout. He knows how to tease the eye and guide the mind by inserting a panel onto the page that, at first, seems completely unrelated to any of the action or dialogue of the current scene. Then, as the scene unfolds, the logic of why the slick, pale, slit eye of a crocodile has suddenly crept onto the page becomes clear. Very suddenly, everyone in this story is a somehow connected to a cold-blooded reptile.
Overall: 8 on 10. Every killer should be so well-delivered.