“Once Upon A Time In Harlem”: After a lengthy hiatus between issues, Ross and Edwards are back with another stellar chapter in the Turf series! The streets of New York are running red with blood as the Dragonmir vampire clan begins to make their move to fulfill a centuries old prophecy. Gangster Eddie Falco and his stranded alien partner Squeed are attempting to amass an army of their own to fight against the vampires. So he heads to Harlem hoping that Samuel Kane and his crew will assist, but Kane seems to only be looking out for himself. Meanwhile, the former head of the Dragonmir clan, Gregori, is being hunted by his own brother who has taken control from him. Their meeting finally forces him to reveal a family secret only known to a select few.
Prohibition era New York hasn’t been this cool in a while, and Ross continues to craft a story that is worth the comic fan’s time and money. He’s combining each genre seamlessly without it feeling forced or inconsistent. Everything feels natural and I’m thinking it’s because so much is put into the development of the characters. I’ve heard people complain that the book is “too wordy,” but if it wasn’t then Turf wouldn’t be as great as it is. Plus I’d rather spend my money on a great book that’s wordy than an issue filled with nothing but filler and splash pages.
The artwork from Edwards just keeps getting better and his style fits this series like a glove. Not trying to pigeonhole the guy, but he’s great at bringing that extra bit of cool to a noir title. He’ll give you nice looking characters and he doesn’t skimp on details in the background, which just enrich his panels as well. Squeed has also got to be one of the most original looking alien characters to come along in a while, and I really like his design.
Turf is another fantastic creator owned title that helps expand comics past its norms by mixing in familiar elements and coming up with something different from the rest. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see what happens in the final issue of the series, but I’m hoping it’s a bloody and violent climax balanced out by the great dialog we’ve been receiving so far.