Writer: Matt Garvey
Artist: Dean Kotz
Colorist: J Francis Totti
Available now from GarveyComics.com (CLICK HERE)
Fully focused upon Walter Stone’s early incarceration inside the super-prison affectionately known as “The Cage”, Matt Garvey’s script for this twenty-four-page periodical grips the reader straight from the start and simply doesn’t let go until its cliff-hanger of a conclusion. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling journey down a mysteriously large hole in the middle of an unnamed desert, than the one which the second-generation villain takes alongside the somewhat idiotic criminal Robert Kennedy; “Yeah, I know… I got this thing about carnival rides and rollercoasters… They freak me out.”
Enchantingly though, the sense of awe and wonder generated by the enigmatic correctional facility doesn’t stop once the convicts’ bus arrives at its astoundingly unimposing gates. Instead, it actually increases as the anxious inmates are met by some disconcertingly-masked guards, and undertake a pulse-pounding journey straight down into the very bowels of the Earth at breakneck speed. This intriguing introduction to Warden Greene’s world really helps set up just how impenetrable the supermax clink is designed to be, and may well remind those longer-toothed bibliophiles of Harry Thompson’s arrival at his space age penitentiary in Gerry Finley-Day’s 2000 A.D. epic from the early Eighties – “”Harry Twenty on the High Rock”.
Perhaps however this comic’s best moment comes at the end of the “powerless” prisoner’s tour of the reformatory by the simian Sidney Cass. The seemingly innocuous scientist-turned-Orangutan during a failed experiment to become “the greatest criminal” ever initially presents a remarkably civilised front to the life behind bars, and definitely works as an effective plot device to lull the audience into a false sense of security before Garvey’s penmanship completely catches them by total surprise.
Equally as enthralling as this book’s writing is the artwork of Dean Kotz, which does an excellent job of depicting the unnerving secrecy surrounding the Cage, its faceless sentries, and the answer as to just why “no one [is] wearing any shoes in here.?” Stone’s character is particularly well-pencilled, with the felon appearing unexpectedly friendly and sympathetic for someone “considered too dangerous to be sent to a regular maximum-security prison” – at least until the American artist draws this publication’s final panel.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]