DC Comics, 20 pages, $ 2.99
The good news is, if you like Nathan Edmondson’s creator-owned action thriller Who Is Jake Ellis? and expect more of the same from Grifter, you won’t be disappointed. Like the hero of the aforementioned miniseries, Grifter protagonist Cole Cash is disoriented and constantly on the run, hears voices in his head and doesn’t know what’s going on.
What’s different here, though, is that Cash is a rather less credible character than Edmondson’s own creation. In Jake Ellis, the hero’s frequent “dialogues” with his imaginary friend provide a frame of reference for his actions that’s missing here. It’s clear that the audience is meant to share Cash’s confusion, but without that framework—without knowing what’s at stake for him—he comes off as a cypher who acts erratically and in ways that are hard to understand—or to care about. Not knowing what the events of the story mean to the character means not being able to empathize with them, which in turn means I’m judging the protagonist for acting irrationally, rather than to be drawn into the story.
Grifter is pleasant to look at and easy to follow, but there’s so little information on anything in the story that your interest fizzles away rather than to be fanned.