No one will deny Garth Ennis writes great dialogue. The character voices are unique and downright genuine, so if a detective drama comes out you better take notice. Detectives Eddie Mellinger and Trudy Giroux of the NYPD return this week, but is it good?
Red Team: Double Tap, Center Mass #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
So what’s it about? The official Dynamite synopsis reads:
One year after the catastrophic events that ended the first series, Red Team survivors Eddie Mellinger and Trudy Giroux are in the doldrums. Considered a political liability, the two are kept busy on small-time cases by their suspicious NYPD commanders… but a chance encounter in the ghetto gives them a chance to get back in the game. Trouble is, it means going far beyond the law… which is what almost got them killed last time around.
Why does this book matter?
Cop drama for mature audiences written by Garth Ennis means one thing: it’s going to be brutally honest and adult. Artist Craig Cermak is back for more too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This can’t end well.
Ennis and Cermak do a great job making these characters come alive via their facial expressions and dialogue. I haven’t read the previous series, but you can tell right off the bat there’s a ton of history between the characters. That makes their dialogue as fluid and realistic as anything you’d see on TV. Unlike being dropped into a detective drama though, I found it easy to follow along and get into the groove of the issue.
The characters are likable too. Clearly there’s some kind of romantic thing going on between them as the issue opens with Trudy asking Eddie to meet her new boyfriend. There’s a bit of tension in the request and it’ll be interesting to see if that meet and greet ever happens. Judging by the crime they discover in this issue I doubt that’s happening.
Which is a pretty cool case to be working on. I don’t want to spoil what they discover, but they uncover it in a natural way and it’s a doozy that involves criminals they already know. It’s a complicated situation that’ll most likely put Eddie and Trudy in deep trouble sooner or later and based on how gung-ho they are about their jobs it’s going to get complicated really quick.
Cermak draws a strong issue with a lot of natural facial expressions that add a lot of humanity to the character moments. The colors by Vinicius Andrade enhance them well, making them look quite real. That makes the interrogation scene that much more fun, with every eye roll and concerned glare more believable.
It can’t be perfect can it?
If you dig cop shows you’re going to love this. I’m not a huge cop show fan myself but still found this entertaining. Could it have progressed more given the page count? Maybe, and I did wish things progressed a bit further than they did here. Because it ends where it does, I was left somewhat interested in what may happen next, but at the same time there wasn’t enough information dropped to see where it could be going. In effect, this issue ends as if we’re going to commercial but there should be another 10 minutes of the episode.
I wish we learned a bit more about the supporting characters, like their boss. Maybe this is on me for not reading the previous story arc, but aside from our protaganists there isn’t another character to get to know.
These characters are genuine.
Is It Good?
It ends a bit too early for my tastes, but you can’t miss the fact that it’s well told via dialogue and cop drama elements. Most importantly you’ll be rooting for the protagonists and will want to see how deep this crime takes them into the criminal underworld.