Publisher: Second Sight Publishing
Writers: Alfred Paige and Alex De Gruchy
Artist: Osvaldo Pestana Montpeller
Letters: Sadia Temofonte
Release Date: 9th June 2021
Starting with a seriously insane punch-up inside a fast-falling helicopter, and concluding with a sense-shattering shoot-out between some of Avery Davis’ top operatives and a mechanical killing machine, there arguably isn’t much room for the reader to breathe in issue two of Blowtorch. Fortunately however, that is far from a bad thing, with Paige Alfred and Alex De Gruchy’s collaborative penmanship crafting the highly engaging storyline of an assassin-turned-drug dealer quickly realising that his change of occupation doesn’t sit terribly well with his political masters; “I genuinely hoped this wouldn’t be necessary and you’d actually have a solution up your sleeve… But me handing Fitzgerald your head should go some way to fixing this mess.”
Admittedly, not every scene in this twenty-two page roller-coaster of a read is crammed full of high-octane shenanigans and ferocious fire-fights. But even the dialogue-heavy initial briefing by Richard Kinkaid’s boss ahead of C.H.E.S.S.’ latest mission is delivered in such a dramatic way that it still provides plenty of excitement and intrigue. Indeed, one of this comic’s greatest assets is just how clear it is from the pair’s opening exchange that Blowtorch and his team-mate Pinpoint don’t get along with one another all that well; especially when Davis puts the facially disfigured titular character in charge of abducting a highly rated professional assassin.
Heated exchanges and veiled threats aside however, the pair immediately realise they have a dangerous job to do, and their ability to work well together despite their differences of opinion leads to some of this book’s most memorable action sequences. Foremost of these set-pieces is the image of a gun-toting James Washington literally dangling off one of Infrared’s robotic arms, whilst the android itself is clinging on to the side of a swooping helicopter. Albeit Pinpoint subsequently diving behind a variety of garden-based stone statues as large chunks of masonry are torn up into the air around him by a semi-automatic shotgun probably comes a close second.
All of these marvelously visualised moments are wonderfully illustrated by Osvaldo Pestana Montpeller, whose gritty technical style of penciling really suits the black and white aesthetic of this comic. In fact, the Cuban artist’s attention to detail whilst depicting the breakdown in relationship between middle man Gareth Davenport and Mexican-American former-Marine Michael Cabral is sublime, to the point where some in this publication’s audience can probably hear the older killer’s sigh of disappointment when he realises his only course of action following a semi-bungled hit-job is to shoot his cybernetically-enhanced employee dead in cold blood.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]