Jericho: Season 4 #1
Story by Dan Shotz, Robert Levine, & Kalinda Vazquez
Written by Kalinda Vazquez
Pencils by Andrew Currie
Colors by Hi-Fi
Review by Joey Braccino
**HAWKINS IS THE BAIT**
Ah, Jericho, how I’ve missed thee! After I whined opined that there weren’t any good epic shows left on cable (except Walking Dead and Breaking Bad), a friend of mine recommended Jericho, a little CBS show that could from 2006 that ran for one season, got cancelled, got uncancelled, ran for an abbreviated second season, and then got thoroughly cancelled in 2008. So I rushed down to my local library and borrowed both seasons on DVD (hey, the economy’s tough!). And it was glorious.
The events of Jericho the TV series take place in a small town called Jericho in rural Kansas. A coordinated nuclear attack on 23 major cities across the United States completely devastates the nation and erodes any semblance of government, society, etc. The community in Jericho, under the leadership of Mayor Johnston Greene, struggles to survive in this new world. The show’s got everything from corn-harvesting to rifle rationing to a war with a neighboring town to black market dealing to political intrigue. It’s dystopia without the more in-vogue elements like zombies and aliens. And the cast is spectacular. Check it out.
After the series was canceled (Nuts!), the show’s producers opted to continue the storyline of Hawkins and Jake Greene in the Jericho: Season 3 comics mini-series released by Devil’s Due Publishing and IDW. That was back in 2009. And here we are, 3 years later, with Season 4!
Jake Greene and Robert Hawkins have returned to Jericho with terrorist mastermind “John Smith” in tow. The town (and all of the country west of the Mississippi) is still under the purview of the corrupt Allied States of America, and the entire country is on the verge of a second civil war between the ASA government and the Eastern United States. Smith has promised the rebel stronghold in Jericho access to “The Precipice,” a computer program that contains all of the ASA computer information, including maps, troop movements, supply lines, etc. etc. etc. Finally, Hawkins’ daughter Allison has run away from home and signed up with the J & R Corporation, a front for the ASA.
Caught up? Probably not, but I don’t think writer Kalinda Vazquez and show producers Dan Shotz and Robert Levine are particularly interested in roping in new readers with Season 4 #1. It’s nice to see all my characters up and interacting again, and I’m particularly interested in seeing the storylines from the TV series and Season 3 comics continue, but I seriously doubt any non-Jericho-holics would be particularly invested. It’d be like jumping into season 4 of a TV show like LOST or Heroes without any prior knowledge; a simple recap page just won’t be enough.
This isn’t to say that Season 4 #1 is bad; it’s actually quite sound in terms of writing and artwork. Andrew Currie’s pencils diligently recreate the feel and look of the TV show, down to the life-like visages of the characters/actors. There’s also plenty of intrigue set up in this issue—including the morse code message at the start (Does “Hawkins” refer to Robert Hawkins or his daughter!?!? Who is using “Hawkins” as bait!? Drama!)—to suggest that this mini-series has an interesting story to tell.
As a Jericho fan, I’m pumped to read Jericho Season 4. I’m glad that the comics medium has allowed some of those prematurely cancelled shows—Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, pretty much anything by Joss Whedon—to continue their stories, especially because I loved those shows and I was ticked off when they got cancelled. For all you non-Jericho fans, however, I’d recommend tracking down the DVDs and watching seasons one and two first. And there are only two seasons, and the second season is only 6 episodes long! So check out the TV show, and then read the comics. Because why not!