Saturday, January 31, 2015

The H.A.R.D. Corps #24 (Classic Valiant)

Eddie 'Ironhead' Abdul is a tough boxer who takes no crap, and certainly doesn't want to take a dive for mobster Joey Pinetti. Unfortunately, in response to this, Pinetti has Ironhead's drinking water drugged, and that, couple with the severe beating he gets in the ring, ensures that the boxer falls into an irreversible coma. Ironhead gets a second chance when Omen Enterprises use their technology to revive him, under the stipulation that he become a member of their paramilitary team the HARD Corps. He slowly starts to fit in, but once he learns of Pinetti's involvement with his 'death', Ironhead wants nothing more then vengeance...

This is a very mixed issue of HARD Corps. Let's discuss the positives first. The character of Ironhead is well-written, and his journey is an interesting one, in both how his character grows, and in his eventual quest for vengeance. At first I didn't like the issue's ending, which I thought was depressing, but it's actually really good, and I felt it complemented the story perfectly with its themes! Also, Ironhead isn't dead, so things aren't a complete downer

Onto the negatives. This issue feels very out-of-place in context with the rest of the series, not only because of the radically different art style, and how the issue focuses entirely on a new viewpoint character, but also because of the story's chronology. Practically every page is a new scene, and this twenty page story takes place over either weeks or months, which is a bit disorienting.

Like I said, this issue focuses entirely on Ironhead, with the only other character being Softcore, who has a much bigger role here than she does in all her other appearances. While it's a shame the rest of the cast get pretty shafted, it's a testament to how well-written this story is that we're able to care so much about a new character who's taking all the attention away from the regulars!

While very different to what's come before and what comes after, the artwork here is still pretty good, although too liney/crosshatchy in places, and Ironhead being constantly coloured golden instead of black is a baffling colouring and lighting oddity!

While it has some problems, Issue #24 of The HARD Corps is still very good reading!...

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