Hardware: Season One #2 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Denys Cowan, Penciller; Bill Sienkiewicz, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Last issue reintroduced us to Curtis Metcalf—and immediately sent him on the run for his life, hunted by the Dakota PD and the government and betrayed by his mentor Edwin Alva for his supposed role in the Big Bang. After an explosive battle with the authorities, he escaped with his life and went deep undercover—and gained a cult following among the people on the ground who liked seeing him stand up to corruption. But things are only getting harder for him. While Alva speaks out of both sides of his mouth and defends Curtis to his team while betraying him, Curtis tries to infiltrate his old company, reunite with a woman who he’s had a close bond with, and get critical information that could exonerate him. And at the same time, a young boy who saw Curtis in action last night develops a fascination with him, leading to fallout when he’s caught doodling the wanted criminal in school.
The creative team knows how to build tension, between Brandon Thomas’ tight scripting and Denys Cowan’s always-gritty art. As Curtis finds himself cornered once again, the next showdown has tragic consequences that threaten to send Hardware off the deep end. With the police more determined than ever to bring him in dead or alive—probably dead—Hardware begins pushing himself beyond the impossible to try to intercept Alva and expose the truth. The last few pages of this issue are an excellent action segment as Hardware pushes himself beyond the limits of his suit and risks his life in one last desperate push. This series has been no-holds-barred since the first page of the first issue, but that means it’s also sacrificed some character beats that Static and Icon’s series have done a little better. But it’s a strong read with a lot of room to grow.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.