Tracker #2 & #3
Written by Jonathan Lincoln
Art by Francis Tsai
Letters by Troy Peteri
Price: $3.99; Release date: February 10, 2010
Federal Agent Alex Oâ€™Roark is on the trail of Herod, a vicious serial killer who monstrously mangles his victims, always leaving behind a calling card with Biblical references which Oâ€™Roark uses to try and track the killer’s next move. After nearly a year trying to track down the elusive killer, Oâ€™Roark finally accurately predicts Herod’s next attack aboard a city bus, where the Agent undercover as a civilian waits for the killer to show. When Herod does strike, Oâ€™Roark becomes the sole surviving victim of the brutal massacre. Strangely enough, Oâ€™Roark miraculously heals from his fatal wounds — claw-like lesions all over his body, as well as numerous fractures and broken bones — subsequently gaining seemingly superhuman abilities. It’s with these new abilities that the Agent finally has a fighting chance to take down the killer, but Oâ€™Roark slowly realizes that he has more to content with than just the damage Herod inflicts.
The series name, Tracker, was a bit too generic to catch my interest and had I properly analyzed the cover of Tracker #1, I might have guessed that this series had a little something to do with werewolves. But, I was too distracted by Agent Oâ€™Roark’s snarling Wolverine-like demeanor to notice his claws and the gun he’s loading with silver bullets. Basically, I’m saying I walked right passed Tracker on the comic book racks when it debuted in last November.
So how and why am I reading it now? Because one of our reviews recently gave issue #1 a rating of 1 out of 5 Blossoming Wolfsbane and when I see a comic get a poor rating, I just have to know why (see Comic Review: Tracker #1). It was said review that I learned what the series is about, and while our reviewer seemed turned off by the whole lycanthropy aspect, that’s exactly what enticed me to check out the series, and I’m glad I did, because I’m honestly digging it.
At the end of issue #1, there’s a personal note from writer/creator Jonathan Lincoln, where he passionately writes about the series and thanks the reader for taking a chance on it. That’s all I need to see to get me to give the rest of the issues — there will be five in all — a shot. When I see the love a creator has for his work, that love is contagious. It helps that by the time I got to the end of issue #3 I was like, ‘Who is Herod? I need to know!!!’
Lincoln’s writing is concise, and easy to follow, but never oversimplified. I hate it when I have to go back and re-read a page because there’s either too much information to digest at once time or the reader is expected to retain that information for use much later on.
The characters are easily distinguishable, though I’m not a big fan of how artist Francis Tsai presents humans in the comic. I find I like how the women look much better than the men, who at times seem disproportionate. This isn’t to say that Tsai’s artwork isn’t well done, as it certainly is with spreads like the bus massacre, as well as the first partial reveal of Herod’s face. That first glimpse we get of Herod when he’s talking with the sole eyewitness at the hospital is so very Corinthian (of Sandman fame).
Also, I think Cyril Tucker, who luckily knows the inside scoop on Herod and werewolves, was drawn well. He’s probably my favorite character so far (please don’t be evil, please don’t be evil!). Matter of fact, Detective Lucas of the Metro PD looks cool too, I wish there was more of him (hey, Top Cow, give Lucas his own series!).
While the women, namely Oâ€™Roark’s smartass partner Jezebel Kendall and scantily clad girlfriend Tory, are pretty hot, they’re also pretty boring. I’m still waiting for Jezzie to do some real detective work and for Tory to put on a shirt and stop whining. (Tory won’t marry him until he quits the dangerous field work and takes a desk job — hello, what’s the difference? You’re still in a relationship with him, right? Jeez…).
Now back to Herod, I don’t feel we get enough of him, and in issue #3 when we see the bus massacre flashback, I’m not so convinced we’re seeing the real killer, but that’s just my own hunch. Issue #3 is packed with a lot of information and leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions: Will Oâ€™Roark survive this ordeal? Can Tucker really be trusted? Will Jezzie ever be of any use? Will Tory finally get laid? We have two more issues of Tucker to go before all will be revealed (hopefully), and I’m definitely looking forward to it.