Advance Review: Bastard’s Waltz #3

Oh dear.  It seems that the newest baddest bad guy, Nero has the drop on Agent Ezekiel Sweet as he is protecting the previous big bad, John the Bastard.  For those that have been reading this series from Darby Pop, you will know what is going on; for those who are behind the curve, you need to catch up quick.

As this occurs early on in the book, it’s a given that Ezekiel gets out of this temporary dilemma, albeit with some help from the guy he is supposed to be protecting.  From there,  the secrets start to tumble out from both John and Ezekiel, with just enough of a hint that Ezekiel has his own issues to fix.  For his part, John takes the change of scenery with his usual “douche bag” style, that has become his trademark.

Three issues in and Mark Bertolini is right on course with this “buddy” book.  By know, despite the changes in locations and the added guest stars and guest villains, I would have expected the limitations of the premise to start to have an impact on the story.  This then is a credit to Bertolini whose writing is as fresh in this issue as it was in the first.  Another strength of the writing is the fact that the readers view of John, may be changing ever so slightly.  Sure, he is a mass murderer, but after three issues, he is our mass murderer.

If you have picked up the previous issues of this series, then you will no doubt be accustomed to the art of Giovani Guida.  As stated previously, an unconventional style belies the great storytelling ability and pacing that Guida imbues his work with.  Regardless of the less is more approach to the facial elements of the characters, you can still feel the level of tension, emotion and anger that has quietly been boiling up inside of Ezekiel. Regarding the colors and the inks, with Guida’s unique style, its safe to say that there is no one more qualified to take on the inks than Guida himself.

Three issues in and the quality on show, including another almost homage to a well known hero, now just another John victim, is still evident to see.  Little tweaks here and there ensures that the weary John and the becoming weary Ezekiel, remain on their toes as they continue their own private dances with their past and present supplying the music.

Writing- 4 Stars
Art & Colors – 3.5 Stars

Written by; Mark Bertolini
Art & Colors by;
Published by; Darby Pop


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