Every little boy and girl dreams about being a superhero, so to see it displayed on the comic page is a relatable and captivating thing to see. This series however has gone a bit dark, so how is this even darker issue? Is it good?
Tech Jacket #4 (Image Comics)
We’re still in the first story arc, following Zach as he attempts to keep himself alive inside a giant planet-sized alien. He’s gone a bit white since an alien punctured his chest, but somehow he’s still alive. He’s been captured by the alien, or some kind of appendage inside of it, and it’s hell bent on turning him into an infinitely powered hero. Meanwhile a corporate mogul is speaking to his parents on Earth and telling them of his plan to get Zach out of the suit. So far he’s stuck in it, as there’s some kind of symbiosis going on, but really the mogul wants it so he can have his own Tech Jacket special ops. This issue cuts back and forth between this and Zach getting his guts played with.
That looks painful.
This is the first issue where writer Joe Keatinge has shown signs of building this world. The first three were all fast paced action with the main goal focused on Zach saving his girlfriend. In each issue he ran into a new element to defeat, but this issue opens differently. We open on “a time before Tech Jackets” and we learn why the Tech Jacket was built in the first place. There’s some poetry in this issue concerning war, and “the desire for species to destroy one’s opposition, regardless of consequence.” It sets a darker tone and gives the Tech Jacket a much less cool look that you might see on Saturday morning cartoons. This all goes a long way in increasing the gravitas of the situation for Zach.
Zach has it rough this issue, with his body being probed and meddled with by the giant alien. He’s being turned into something and losing his humanity in the process. The purpose and point is not yet revealed, which is okay because the bigger picture is slowly being uncovered. There is a cute ending that brings it all back to the first issue though, which helps set the tone back to something more akin to what we’ve been reading before. Without this last page one might think this is an entirely different series than the first three issues.
Artist Khary Randolph delivers his usual spunky cartoony look, albeit with a lot more darker and twisted imagery in this issue. Frankly his style is a bit misleading, as you might think it’d be more of a style you’d see on a pre-teen comic, but it’s good all the same. His layouts are very bombastic and remind me of a style you’d see in an event series, which is an important aspect since this is such a large story. We’re talking intergalactic s--t going down here people!
Oh yeah, bring the pain!
Is It Good?
A good issue that changes tact into a much darker story. We’re given just enough detail on the past and new direction to keep our interest and the funny last page brings it all down to reality.