Cover #2 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; David Mack, Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: The most intriguing book to come out of the Jinxworld imprint yet, Bendis and Mack’s Cover is a twisty title that wastes no time completely upending the status quo it set up in the first issue. The story of a cult comic book creator who meets an intriguing woman at a convention and gets pulled into her world, only to discover that she’s a spy, it’s somehow tense and contemplative at the same time.
Opening by flashing forward to the main character being brutally interrogated by a sinister figure who may be another comic creator, it then flashes forward to his first mission in Istanbul. He gets an invite to a comic convention there, and Julia is waiting to greet him. She soon briefs him on his mission – the convention is a cover, as the President of Turkey will be attending and he’s there to meet him. The tension is high in the car ride to the convention, as our unconventional hero is given his cover and mission – to slip this world leader a bug that will allow the government to spy on him.
I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever read an indie comic that uses its art quite so well. This is written by Bendis, but it’s Mack’s art that really steals the show.
His art style in the down-to-earth segments is smooth, minimalist, and almost zine-like. Then it switches abruptly at a moment’s notice to Mack’s trademark beautiful, dreamlike style when we’re seeing Julia through the main character’s eyes. The extended segment of painted art in Max’s comic as he tells the story of a boy in Japan being formed into a warrior by his former soldier father is gorgeous, making use of empty space to highlight Mack’s style.
Cover is a mystery, an old-school noir told through the filter of a world that Bendis and Mack are intimately familiar with – comics. I can’t say I fully understand where it’s going yet, but I know I’m more hooked by the story of Max and Julia than I have been by a Bendis comic in a long time.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.