Grand Passion #3 ComicWow! Review

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James Robinson is a multiple-Eisner Award Winner.  He has written for both Marvel and DC.  He is best known for his work on Starman, some work on Captain America for Marvel, and as the screenwriter for the movie version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Tom Feister is also an Eisner ward Winner, recognized for his work on Wildstorm Comics’ Ex Machina.  He has also worked on Iron Man, GI Joe, Green Lantern, and The Initiative.  He has worked for Both Marvel and DC, Wildstorm, Devil’s Due, Dark Horse, and other publishers.

This is the third issue of a five issue miniseries.

In the first issues, we meet Mac.  Mac is a burned out cop, tired of life, but still honest.  He’s been on the skids since his wife died.  He’s a recent transfer from the big city to a small town.  He’s slowly learned that the police force has a major corruption issue.

Mabel is a criminal, the survivor of a heist gone wrong.  Mac was the cop who killed her partner.  In classic noir fashion, she has come to kill Mac.

This is where the issue starts.  The entire issue takes place in a space of a few hours, possibly less.  Mac and Mabel meet and talk for the first time. In this issue, things change, and the story takes on a new depth and dimension.

Although there are some flashbacks and cutaways, most of the story is set in one room, in the dark.  The dialogue is almost entirely between the two lead characters.  The dialogue is sparse, almost minimal. There are points where Robinson wisely relies on Feister’s artwork to move the story, using artist’s talent for mood and detail in place of dialogue.   It feels almost as if Robinson is afraid to say too much, preferring instead to show readers, and have them participate in the process by ‘filling in the blanks.’

This third installment (of five issues) avoids the ‘middle issue of arc’ syndrome by deftly revising the main characters and the storyline.  This is no longer they typical “cops hunting bad guys who want revenge.”  Robinson and Feister have far gone beyond that tired trope.  Grand Passion is a riveting mixture of police procedural, rural-Noir, conspiracy drama, and romance.  The lead characters are well-defined and realistic, both in writing and in artwork.

Robinson and Feister have both brought their ‘A Game’ to Grand Passion, and it shows.

Written by: James Robinson

Illustrated by: Tom Feister

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