"Jazz Maynard" #1 from Magnetic Press' Lion Forge imprint -
Jazz Maynard is one hell of a man. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, like his name implies, he's slick, cool, smooth and unpredictable. Besides all of that, he's one of the best Jazz trumpeters in New York City. When he gets an urgent letter from his sister stating that she fell victim to some sex traffickers while looking for him in NYC, Jazz finds her and barrels through her mobbed-up captors like a hurricane. There's more to Jazz than meets the eye. Much more - but will it be enough to save his sister and himself and everyone he loves? The guys he killed had connections. Big, bad connections. And even though Jazz and his sister have fled home to Barcelona, they haven't run far enough to escape the hands of corruption, nor the hands of wicked men out for revenge.
If this sounds familiar to you, don't fret. It's translated from Dargaud's 2007 publication, translated from the original Spanish and French. If you are a fan or foreign comics (and I am), you'll be really happy to see this great work get a little American love. Writer, Raule, brings us this hard-boiled crime-fiction actioner that seems like a cross between Cowboy Bebop and Robert Rodriguez's film, "Desperado." Like the protagonists in both works, Jazz Maynard is a silent wall of cool, but behind it is the weight of a dark past, evidenced by the deadly skill set, and a sensitive soul, as evidenced by the haunting music he makes with his trumpet. Jazz Maynard's the perfect protagonist - he's got just enough out there for you to have an idea of who he is, but not enough for you to be exactly sure. A good, mysterious protagonist is one sure way to lock me into a story. Raule has thrown Jazz in a dangerous situation involving family; it's interesting to see how the danger doesn't shake him up at all, but his family sure does. What's that about? It will be so groovy to watch how he handles all the baddies coming his way with his family involved (or as they say in Spanish, "de por medio"). Roger Ibañez Ugena's pencils rock hard with slightly elongated, lined faces that demonstrate a wealth of emotion, and PLENTY of panels on every page that just keep the eye moving scene to scene. It's like a movie in comic book form. SWEET. It doesn't seem like I read this ten years ago already, but it's just as good now as it was then. Dargaud published a lot of great books, from Jazz Maynard: Home Sweet Home, to one of my faves, Blacksad. If you like Cowboy Bebop, "Desperado," and hard-boiled crime fiction, you will love Jazz Maynard. I do.
RATING: 9 out of 10.
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