After coming off a Once Upon A Time In China and Donnie Yen marathon right before reading this I was already in a certain frame of mind. So when the first few pages of this issue shed light on Jack and Billy’s Master and their relationship it was just icing on the cake! This is the man that raised the boys and taught them their skills, though he is far from approving of their current life choices.
The writing team of Whitlock and Krentz make sure this issue is another superb stepping stone in moving this story along. We’re treated to an action filled flashback during Jack’s meditation sequence that effectively begins to flesh out the characters while not sacrificing any of the story. We see now what drives Jack, along with a peek into who Cicada was and what she means to him. Just as well as Krentz and Whitlock deliver the action and violence, they also make sure to provide some very sharp dialogue during the more character driven moments. Thus letting readers know there’s a lot more going on than just superb fight scenes and a swarm of bullets on every page.
As far as the artwork goes, Mychaels and Smith take the script to its next level with good line work and strong visual storytelling. Not just saving the good stuff for the action scenes, but making sure to hold your interest regardless of what is in the panel. Though I will say that some of the level of detail from the first issue isn’t as consistent here as it was then, but as a whole it’s a visually solid book from start to finish. There is also a sequence of panels that sticks out because there’s no dialogue, and yet you get a hint at Cicada’s personality reinforced by the subtle reactions from Jack and Billy. These are the moments that really show you what an artist can do in terms of moving the narrative without dialogue in the panels.
Blaze Brothers is taking shape to be a great series and a contender with any other title in its genre. So do yourself a favor and get started reading this now!