Jericho, Season 4 #1
Written by Kalinda Vazquez
Art by Andrew Currie
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Cover by Tim Bradstreet
Story by Dan Shotz, Robert Levine, and Kalinda Vazquez
Release Date: August 16, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99
Jericho earned a rabid cult following during its two-season run on CBS. After the first season, CBS tried to cancel the show. This spawned the infamous Nuts campaign where disgruntled fans mailed over 20 tons of peanuts to CBS’s offices. In response, CBS agreed to allow Jericho seven more episodes to wrap things up. Only Jericho‘s story posed so many questions that it was nearly impossible to tell the whole story in just seven episodes. The second season seemed to bank on CBS gracing them with a third season — it ended right before the meat of the story with a possible Civil War II looming. CBS, of course, cancelled the show regardless. Not cool, CBS. Not cool.
If you’re unfamiliar with Jericho, it focuses on a small town in Kansas that’s rocked by an apparent nuclear war that wiped out several major cities in America. The series centers around the characters of Jake Green and Robert Hawkins as they unravel what happened and who attacked the United States — if there is a United States anymore. Great stuff. Catch the first two seasons on Netflix or on the Complete Series DVD, then read the Jericho: Season 3 comic before moving on to this book.
Jericho: Season 3 centered attention on the terrorist who started this whole mess: John Smith. Jake and Robert freed him from an Allied States (ASA) prison. Smith rationalized his decision to set off the nukes. Robert thought Smith could be an invaluable weapon in the upcoming war against the ASA with his uniquely extensive intel on Jennings and Rall. Jake would rather see this pompous sociopath executed on the spot. The third season ended with the trio making their way back into Jericho, Kansas and setting up for an explosive Season 4.
Jericho: Season 4, Volume #1 sets the stage for the rebellion against the ASA. John Smith is the only one with access to the Precipice, which gives him full access to Jennings & Rall’s databases. Robert’s daughter unwittingly got herself placed right in the thick of things when she left home to volunteer for a Jennings & Rall food drive. Now his goal is to keep her safe as the war is quickly ramping up around her. The issue also delves into a few quick personal moments for Jake, his brother Eric, Stanley, Dale, and the rest of the cast.
John Smith is an interesting wildcard character who keeps this series fresh and unpredictable. His intentions and loyalty are purposely muddled. He seems to be working with the rebellion, but he’s also the guy who had no qualms about nuking 23 American cities — you know, for the greater good. I’m not at all buying into his motivations for killing millions of people, but that’s part of the intrigue with Smith. I’m fascinated with the character and find myself dissecting everything he says. I’m willing to see where the writers are going with this character before fully passing judgment.
Andrew Currie‘s art is a faithful reproduction of the television show’s flat, Midwestern look and feel. It’s a solid job. The main characters are unmistakable to their real life counterparts, but some of the secondary cast members in Jericho can be difficult to distinguish. Kalinda Vazquez sets the stage for a Season 4 that should deliver a deservedly great continuation of the Jericho storyline.
As a fan of Jericho during its original run, I’m thrilled that the original creative team is dedicated to seeing this storyline through to proper conclusion. Although I’m enjoying the direction of the plot, the character depth in these short comic books can’t possibly match the television series. The comic leans heavily on already established characterizations to continue the story, which is fair given that it builds on the show. One of Jericho’s greatest strengths during its television run was its deep exploration of its secondary casts’ background and side stories. Much of the comic is focused on Jake, Robert, and John Smith’s mission — the rest of the cast is relegated to the sidelines with only a few prized glimpses into their current status. Regardless, it’s great to see the Jericho storyline live on. So many cancelled TV shows deserve this treatment. If only we could get the same love for a Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season 3!