Crime comics have had their fair share of revivals over the years which seems to suggest people want them. I myself love a good noir tale and Image Comics has provided one with Dark Corridor which has a new issue out this week. Is it good?
Dark Corridor #3 (Image Comics)
There are a variety of characters at play converging, and then not, throughout the first few issues. I can’t say I even understand the story 100%, but that’s okay because so far each issue has been enjoyable on its own. This issue opens with a female hitman scoping out her target and she gets a surprise that might get her killed.
The predator preys.
Why does this comic book matter?
This is creative storytelling 101. It’s nothing like any comic on the stands today—the characters feel fresh and alive, and the art style takes chances. This isn’t a run of the mill story in the slightest. It’s taking the crime element of its subject and running with it, taking it very seriously. Essentially, it’s not-to-be-missed storytelling.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Rich Tommaso writes and draws this series and opens every issue with a chapter breakdown. This issue has two chapters but they converge by issue’s end. Essentially we get to see the work of a hitman in this issue and what they appear to believe is a very legitimate and serious job. Much in the way of Pulp Fiction, these characters are very human average people but they just so happen to beat in faces for answers or kill people who need to disappear. It’s safe to say our culture today is fascinated by these types of people and this story delivers two very well rounded ones in this issue.
The opening story with a female hitman (or is it hitwoman?) is quite exciting as there’s a big surprise, a chase sequence and lots of great layouts. Tommaso keeps things fluid and interesting and it’s fun to follow. The protagonist in this tale is also quite unique and well rendered. You’re going to want to follow along with her and when she shows up in the second story later it’s all for the better.
Witness her on her perch.
The second story is good in that it displays the camaraderie of people in this line of work, but also the inability to trust anyone. Tommaso has the characters share a drink at one of their houses while the much favored gangster movie Scarface plays. Tommaso seems to be saying, “see look, even these killers like these movies!” The female hitman arrives because she’s very worried for her life. The job didn’t go as planned and now her life’s in danger. It’s fun to go along with them and see what might happen next.
Finally, Tommaso ends this issue with a car chase. Given the art style, which is similar to Tintin or classic Archie Comics, you’d think a car chase wouldn’t work. Much of the panels are sort of stiff and simple, but Tommaso kicks the scene into gear with some fantastic layouts that are frame worthy. This all ends with a cliffhanger and a reminder that nobody is safe.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
How this fits into the overall story still remains to be seen. I think I’ll need to go back and reread the previous issues because Tommaso appears to drop little details—say, a red car—into a scene and not call attention to it. Then in another issue you see a similar looking car. This makes the read a bit more enjoyable for eagle-eyed folks who like to piece things together, but casual readers might be lost as to who and why we’re seeing these characters.
Cocky isn’t she?.
Is It Good?
Overall another gripping story with plenty of action and great storytelling. Give me more!