Ten Grand #1

by lucstclair on May 01, 2013

A former mafia hit-man turned paranormal investigator, Joe Fitzgerald helps people with unusual problems. An expert in demonology, Joe charges, you guessed it, ten thousand dollars for his services, doesn’t use last names & has frequent dealings with angels. When a young woman hires him to locate her missing sister, Joe comes to realize that his personal demons resurface, emotionally and figurately.

The Team

Written by J. Michael Straczynski (Rising Stars, Midnight Nation, Thor) & illustrated by Ben Templesmith (Criminal Macabre, Fell, Choker, Wormwood : Vol. 1). Published by Image Comics under the imprint of Joe’s Comics.

The Pros & Cons

When reading this, one can’t help to compare the character Joe to John Constantine, DC’s necromancer & expert on everything about angels & demons. Moody guy, chain smoking loner with a tragic history, lost love & dealings with holy & unholy beings in a seedy part of town. Now I don’t fault this comic for that, in fact I rather enjoyed it. As much as I love the work that JMS has done with Spider-Man, Thor & Superman, it’s the creator owned stuff (Joe’s Comics) he’s done in the past that really shines for me. Titles like Rising Stars, a story that takes the super hero genre and flips it on its head or Midnight Nation, a horror yarn about demons and one man’s quest in between the world of the living and the dead. Who can forget his work on Supreme Power for Marvel’s Max imprint? A mature readers title that revamps Marvel’s old school super team Squadron Supreme and gave it a fresh spin.
The protagonist Joe is a funny & likeable character with a shady past. He’s a romantic, a criminal with a heart of gold and he’s a made a pact with the devil… well sort of. I’ll stop before I spoil it all. JMS has crafted a clever story with whimsical moments balanced with moments of sheer terror. The story takes place in the present with flashbacks here and there. This first issue is part of an origin story arc that will continue in a few issues or more.
Ben Templesmith is one hell of a choice for this type of series. His illustrations are moody, creepy and straight out of your worst nightmares. Like other pencillers like Sam Kieth & Bill Sienkiwicz, his style of artwork I recognize immediately. Plus he does his own colouring, which quite frankly I couldn’t see it any other way. Light tones for the quieter moments and dark tones for the more intense ones. Everything and everybody looks dirty & filthy, but beautiful at the same time.

Favourite moment of dialogue

Joe tells his client Debbie that he likes the fact that she doesn’t use the word “like” in her vocabulary. Funny stuff.

Favourite illustration/panel

When Joe busts in his current target’s demon business, this page speaks volumes to what kind of comic this is.

The Outcome

This is a promising & strong beginning for what I believe will be a very entertaining series. The unstoppable force known as Image, does it again.

Our Score:


A Look Inside