Jericho, Season 4 #2
Created by Dan Shotz, Robert Levine & Kalindra Vazquez
Written by Kalindra Vazquez
Art by Andrew Currie
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Release Date: February 20, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
The city of Jericho is now unwittingly hosting the terrorist mastermind behind the nuclear attacks that splintered the United States. In the first issue, Jake Green and Robert Hawkins suppressed their vengeful instincts to work with John Smith, who is likely the only man who can help the resistance overthrow the Allied States (A.S.A.) government. Jericho, Season 4 #2 makes bold moves with the storyline that will evoke warm memories of the post-apocalyptic, political intrigue that hooked fans on the short-lived television series.
John Smith is now fully embedded in Jericho society. He takes an unassuming cover as an engaging teacher who just happens to work closely with Emily. Jake is uncomfortable with the most wanted man by both sides working hand-in-hand with his girlfriend. She invites John over for dinner with them where John subtly taunts Jake about being out of the loop while divulging the details of his latest plan.
John disabled the security in A.S.A. prisons, which is the first step in his plan to take down government. Besides the enormous risk this move poses to innocent civilians, Jake was especially bothered by his next move: convincing Robert Hawkins to allow himself to be captured. The releasing of the prisoners would cause mass chaos, but more importantly, the move assured that the security force guarding Hawkins would be minimal at best. Hawkins is serving as the big bait to catch the big fish. And, oh yeah, the A.S.A., is a step ahead of the game planting a mole in Jericho who’s hot on the trail of John Smith.
Writer Kalindra Vazquez sucks us right in with this scheming storyline. All the main characters have clear motivations, although their true intentions remain to be seen. While the story focuses on John Smith’s deceitful web of carefully orchestrated chess moves, perhaps this architect of terror is underestimating Jericho’s own. I was thinking that John’s motivation was to goad Jake into making an uncharacteristic move. However, this issue ends with a huge reveal that completely turns the tables for the rest of the series. Vazquez manipulated my imagination and I loved it! Secondary characters such as Dale and Mimi also receive some attention with a seemingly small-time side-story that might worm its way into the grand scheme of things.
Andrew Currie’s characters are a great reproduction of their real-life counter parts. The facial expressions and body language are dead-on and unmistakable. The art is easy to follow, which is critical in a television or film translation that seeks to attract an audience beyond the comic fanboy. I’m not a fan of the pastel color palette used in the series; the heavy use of pinks, purples, and seafoam greens make some pages in Jericho look like the Easter candy aisle at Target.
This series successfully translates Jericho’s unique blend of global crisis and small-town drama to the comic panels. Regardless of whether you read comics, if you’re a peanut-mailing Jericho fan, then you owe it to yourself to see this storyline reach its proper conclusion. Fuck the networks, read a comic! Rest assured that your beloved franchise is in the hands of creators who love this story just as much as we do.