Killer Groove #3
Writer: Ollie Masters
Artist: Eoin Marron
Not only has issue #3 of Killer Groove kept the series’ ball rolling, but it also resolved my previous issues with the series. Certain loose plot threads and questionable decisions have more than paid off. Johnny has finally found success in his musical career. And his secret is that killing gives him the creative spark he needs. Meanwhile, Jackie is back solving mysteries as a private eye, though the biggest ones are just under her nose.
Jackie and Johnny finally cross paths again in this issue, though their respective storylines are still largely separate. The book’s violent and introspective themes are realized in how the two protagonists meet without actually realizing the significance of it. The dark past of Jackie’s uncle Raúl starts to bubble up as well. Now it’s apparent that he’s been made a victim out of the men who made him a victimizer. Issue #3 highlights how this book maintains a dark theme without feeling oppressive. The absurdity of certain scenes just adds to the more horrific moments.
Issue #3 also sports some terrific art from Eoin Marron. The simple dialogue exchanges and more complex, active moments serve to highlight his already superb work. The art brilliantly handles both, ensuring both kinds of scenes are equally engaging. Most of the fights are brief, brutal affairs with lower stakes than even most other independent comics tackle. The flashier aspects of Marron’s art help here but what really lands the blow is the humanity he brings to the panels of Killer Groove.
Marron’s characters feel like actual human beings, even in his relatively stylized approach to a fairly real set of circumstances. Every character is a distinct individual with their own set of expressions and tics. More importantly, those traits are recognizable without being exaggerated. Even the minor characters get this treatment, in an admittedly more limited way due to time constraints. In a medium increasingly populated by stiff, “realistic” figures or watered down, inoffensive cartoons, Killer Groove‘s story is filled with human beings.
Aftershock has had a strong showing so far but Killer Groove is easily their best comic yet. While it’s largely flown under the radar so far, it masterful executes a simplistic, well-explored premise. Best of all, the book has a clear sense of purpose without revealing too much. You know it’s going somewhere but it’s hard to say exactly where. And as long as a series is good, that’s by far the best place for it to be.
Killer Groove #3
Killer Groove's mesmerizing Los Angeles narrative is by far one of the best comics to come out this year.