Written by, Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by, Jonas Scharf
Colored by, Alex Guimaraes
Lettered by, Ed Dukeshire
Reviewed by, Tom Zimm
This issue continues the story of the Winter’s family criminal business. Grace, the matriarchal leader of the family crime business and also known as “mom”, takes over when her husband Dante dies as told in the previous issue. Her sons, Leon and Wade, continue the business, but are more exposed and in considerable danger in this issue. Meanwhile, Brigitte, Grace’s daughter, and The Winter’s Family chemist continue her experiments with Ash, which has become a valuable commodity for the family despite giving mystical powers to those who use it.
The entertainment value is found in the dark criminal elements of the story and the mystery surrounding the Ash trade, which is the commodity that feeds the Winter’s family business. The author does a nice job developing the tension between the Winter’s family and their competitors, the Junta Directiva, while introducing intrigue. What role do the detectives play in managing the conflict between these two criminal organizations? How much do The Winter’s Family, as a whole, or the Junta Directiva know about the true power of Ash or is Brigitte the only one who knows the origin for the creation of this substance?
The art supports and drives the narrative forward throughout using shadowing and nice facial representations to capture the tone for each panel. I was particularly captured by the depictions of the flashbacks, which occurred when people used the Ash, mostly to enhance their capacities the moment. Like when Wade use the substance while fighting Rafael and his men and is pictured using a .50 caliber rifle, which is beautifully drawn with rugged detail. Also, the thick lines, shadows, and use of colors supported the dark themes of the story. I highly recommend this book for fans of crime noir and who enjoy a little mysticism mixed in with true-to-life crime dramas. Overall = 9.5