Below you’ll find the solicitations information and cover artwork for all of the Dynamite Entertainment comic book titles that were released on June 22nd, 2016. This week it’s all about Bond. James Bond. Okay, there’s some Red Sonja and Grumpy Cat, too. But for me, it is just a 007 week.
In Choker, Johnny Jackson is a hard-boiled Private Investigator or Gumshoe and he has the cigarettes, trenchcoat, cramped messy office, surly demeanor, and the contempt for the police force that canned him to prove it. What the reader is supposed to assume is he now leads a life of obscurity blurred by booze (even if the first scene finds him spying on the mayor’s dalliances), but is about to get his one shot at public redemption when the cops call upon him to catch the drug dealer “Hunt Cassidy” he locked up years earlier.
Jackson is surely an antihero with a vulgar mouth and skeletons in the closet, but he is not without his charms. At his most human we see him caring for his kind and nerdy assistant Seaton Price. With a backstory that is highlighted by the Shotgun Police Force forcing him to take an experimental drug called “Man Plus” which is supposed to turn ordinary civil servants into robocops, Jackson evokes sympathy after being left with a serious side effect that comes to define him. A vise-like gripping hand that has a mind of its own earns him the unfortunate moniker “Choker,” and robs him of his badge and dignity after being deemed a danger to others.
Choker #1 Written by Ben McCool
Art by Ben Templesmith Image Comics
Released date: February 24, 2010
If you’ve been longing for the return of Warren Ellis’Fell this is probably the closest thing that will fill that hole until the long fabled tenth issue comes out. This is of course largely due to artist Ben Templesmith, who puts his always moody style to work here. Of course, saying that Chocker is similar to Fell does it a disservice. Outside of the visual style, the story is very different.
Johnny Jackson is your typical down on his luck private eye, until he is given the chance to rejoin the police force by capturing an escaped criminal he helped put in jail. The first issue is largely concerned with setting up the futuristic world and the main character, and it does that very well. I didn’t know much about the series coming into this issue, but enjoyed what was here, and I hope there will be more story in the next issue. New writer Ben McCool has a good handle on how to introduce the characters and even though there’s a lot of things to introduce — the futuristic setting, the background of the main character, and even an odd twist ending to the issue — I never felt confused by what was going on.