When it comes to film noir, the best part is the characters. They’re living in a world that has no rules. They do what they want when they want just like we wish we could, but we live in a world run by rules. It’s a way for us to escape our lives by reading or watching theirs because their life experience is so unique. The first issue was strong on characters with an interesting interweaving of stories, but how is issue #2? Is it good?
Dark Corridor #2 (Image Comics)
This issue opens with a flashback of a character in prison. He’s speaking to his lawyer about getting his sentence nullified by the governor, but it’s not going to happen due to the high profile nature of his crime. It ticks him off and the lawyer leaves. Unfortunately for him he also gets ticked off from his roommate who he accidentally kills in a fit of rage. Oops. The issue then cuts to today and another person has died from the same hands. It’s a very cinematic cut and one that any movie fan should appreciate.
His lawyer is oddly extra cartoony, no?
And that’s why this comic is so fun to read. It’s like going to the movies as we see Carter just trying to keep his head above water. This issue follows him through a day where he buys a car, attends a strip club and then eventually commits the crime we opened on. Rich Tommaso crafts this story expertly with a nice cutting between scenes, a good pace and fantastic layouts. This is flat out good storytelling. This story about an ex-con runs 15 pages and is solid noir storytelling.
The second story directly connects to the mystery of the previous issue and the dog that drove the story forward. We learn what happened to the dog and a little more about the woman on the motorcycle. If you did pick this issue up first you’ll still enjoy this story as it doesn’t require you to know what happened previously. The sequence is solidly told and keeps your interest. The added benefit of fleshing out the mystery of the first issue only makes this story more rewarding.
The art is good, with a unique vibe similar to something much more indie than what Image Comics usually puts out. A lot of the eyes for instance are just white dots which reminds me of Tintin. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but it grows on you if you give it a chance. Tommaso’s art has a charm to it that’s cartoony but also detailed. Considering how violent this issue is, the style actually creates an extra level of shock since you’re not expecting it. There was however a goofy panel or two-like one with three women running in perfect unison-which makes it almost comical, surely something Tommaso isn’t going for.
That ain’t good.
Is It Good?
This is how crime comics should be: storytelling that can be enjoyed on an issue by issue basis that rewards the reader who’s been following along too.