Last month, I was just about the only person alive to give a positive review to Grifter #1, a super-hero/conspiracy thriller mash-up from Nathan Edmondson and CAFU. This month probably won’t be much different, though my praise will be a bit less effusive: while Grifter #2 is a very exciting issue, it can’t quite make two important subplots work, leaving us stranded with a thrilling premise and solid art and not much else. There’s enough here to keep me interested, but it needs to start coming together
The story this week is slight, though there are some intriguing hints at a larger mythology. There was never much doubt that Grifter’s ability to see the shape-shifting alien invasion no one else can notice was real, but this issue confirms it: the Daemonites are real… and the military knows it, though it is unable to identify them. Nathan Edmondson does a good job of piling on new mysteries as quickly as he answers his old ones, but the issue comes to a halt when we return to the silly subplot of Grifter’s spec-ops brother hunting him down (and finding him immediately).
Cafu, Gorder and Dalhouse step it up a notch on art this issue, improving significantly over last month’s more mundane outing – the three-page fight between Cole and the possessed police officer is dynamically drawn, vivid and thrilling, and a car crash later in the issue is somehow just as exciting as it would be in any Hollywood blockbuster. Edmondson seems dedicated to giving us some pretty thrilling espionage action, so it’s nice to see the art team can execute those sequences with flair.
Grifter #1 had to dedicate the entirety of its page-space to setting up its premise – shape-shifting aliens are infiltrating Earth, and only Cole Cash can see them – which seemed to damage the flow of the book for a lot of people. Me, I enjoyed the classic sci-fi espionage set-up, and I enjoyed it here too. If Edmondson can move past the extraordinarily bland ‘brother vs. brother’ conflict he has set up with Cole and Max or the melodrama of Cole’s relationship with Gretchen (or make either plot more engaging) and start digging into the more thrilling conspiracy angle a little faster, he could have a real winner on his hands. As it is, he still has an enjoyable action book that can go in some fascinating directions.