Written by Eric Kripke
Drawn by John Higgins
Published by DC Comics/Vertigo
The action really kicks it up a notch in this issue. First, Josh tries to stop taking the Jacked pills, but the withdrawals are too much for him to handle, so he starts taking them again. Meanwhile Damon is still in a coma in the hospital, with Jessica having told Damon’s older brother Ray, who is implied to be a very dangerous man, that Damon simply fell down the stairs during a fight between him and her. But she knows that if Damon doesn’t die and recovers, he’ll tell Ray what really happened and then both she and Josh will be killed. So she tries to convince Josh that they need to team up and kill Ray before he kills them. Of course, this isn’t something that Josh agrees to. But It turns out that Ray doesn’t believe Jessica’s story anyway, and is having her followed. Some of his men catch her and Josh together and try to bring them to Ray at gunpoint. Thankfully the Jacked pills kick in, giving Josh enough strength to fight the men off…for a little while. But then right in the middle of the fight, the pills wear off and Josh is back to normal. He tries to take another pill but the bottle is knocked out of his hands, and down a sewer, as the two henchmen then proceed to beat Josh to death…
Whoa, boy, what a cliffhanger. Despite the massive increase in action, Kripke continues to slip in enough quite moments to remind us that Josh is underneath is all just a regular guy. Therefor, as the stakes increase, you can almost feel the tension rising and find yourself legitimately worried for the poor guy’s safety. I also like the increased role of Jessica, as she’s still somewhat of a mystery. While on the surface she is a typical damsel in distress, I’m not sure she’s all that she seems to be, or that Josh can trust her. So I’m excited to see how this all unfolds.
And once again, John Higgins’ art continues to stun. I don’t think I specifically mentioned in the previous reviews that this series is published under DC’s Vertigo imprint, meaning it’s aimed at adults. So foul language, mild nudity, and graphic violence are all allowed in this comics. This particular issue takes full advantage of that, as their is plenty of blood and guts for Higgins to draw.
Jacked gets better with every issue. If you’re not reading this, you should be. A+