PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2 from Source Point Press. Available Wednesday, September 29th, the creative team for this issue features writing from Rylend Grant, art from Davi Leon Dias, colors by Iwan Joko Triyono, and lettering from HdE.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…
SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2
In Shops: September 29th, 2021
CHAPTER 2: PRECIOUS MOMENTS
After learning that his lost love might be still be alive, adrift somewhere in the vast ocean of space and time, Denver Wallace must convince his estranged team to set aside years of bad blood, saddle up, and bring her back home. Also, there’s a pretty funny reality show subplot, a panel where a dog takes a massive dump, and you know… plenty of cool monster-fighting stuff.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2
Throughout everyone’s lives, we make mistakes. We make poor decisions. We lose some relationships. We hurt those with whom we love. But on the flipside, we make connections with people. We build trust in others. We support one another. But when you have burned bridges with some of your closest allies and have an ego that teeters between confident and cocky, can humbling oneself wipe that red out of your ledger?
The brutal truth is that not every relationship can be salvaged. Often the scars of the heart will never heal no matter what you do to try and repair it. Wallace learns this firsthand – he recognized the loss of Naomi is a wound much deeper than that of the former teammates he pissed off a decade prior. So the question becomes: can you come together for the greater good despite your falling out? That’s an obstacle Denver’s facing. But even after his attempt at humility, his swagger is back in a flash. This guy is such a fun character on many levels.
Writing: This issue, for me anyway, felt like there was an additional layer added to an already dope concept from last month’s debut. The reader becomes more connected, more attuned to each character’s personality. It feels like it has more depth and has a deeper look at the former jockeys. I don’t know. It just felt like it built upon the personalities and potential relationship-building that might be seen next issue. It’s a good layer to have, one that increases to the value not only of the story and cast, but in the series as a whole.
There’s something almost poetic seeing Denver’s fall from grace. The juxtaposition of the height of his career being a person who is looked up to and hitting rock bottom and being looked down on. It’s humbling having to put your ego in check and reach out to people you know you wronged.
Another thing that excites me with SUICIDE JOCKEYS is the sci-fi component. There are a number of things you can do with regards to time travel and I am eager to see what’s in store for the team, and from Rylend’s mind. And the way the “cognizants” are being portrayed, and gathering what we have seen & learned so far, I feel something big is in the works in upcoming issues.
I appreciate the conflicting personalities Rylend has given this former team. Here in issue two, he shows he’s thought these characters out to great extent. You know that there are going to be some butting of heads. It’s a fun medley of remembering your heydays by getting the team back together, potential conflict due to the conflicting personalities, and the common bond they share that is stronger than anyone’s personal feelings for one another. Maybe I’m looking too deep into it. But yeah.
It’s all in the details and artist Davi Leon Dias has them in spades. I’ve always loved his sharp, crisp linework and atention to detail. I could name at least 8 current Marvel Comics titles whose artwork isn’t this finely-tuned. This issue, in particular, the panel layout really jumped out at me. I loved the overlaps, the traditional and unconventional styles, and Davi really takes advantage of each one. I really appreciate the work Davi puts in his backgrounds. In a lot of indie comics, oftentimes backgrounds are minimal, nothing really defined, an afterthought, and that’s if there is anything in the background at all. His segues from present to flashbacks for each character are so clean. They make such a smooth transition to fill a multi-panel flashback to learn what each individual has done since this team were last together. It’s always exciting to see each upcoming release to see how Dias will impress me this issue. Just a superstar.
Colors: There are flashback panels (see first image above) in SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2 where colorist Iwan Joko Triyono created a beautiful contrast for the foreground and everything else in the panels. The focus of your eyes instantly hone in on the bright-colored characters with the help of the desaturated sepia tone in the background. It makes these panels pop and provides that distinction that you are viewing Denver Wallace’s backstory. It’s also something I’m not sure many colorists would necessarily opt for; most time in comic books, the backgrounds would typically either remain the same tones as everything in the panel, or at least similar hues but slighty faded to make a slight contrast. Iwan has always been a color artist that has an eye for the mood and ambience for each panel, but also does a damn fine job at giving his artist a look which amplifies the linework of Dias. The 1-2 combo in Davi & Iwan packs a punch. I truly feel they are of only a handful of artist/colorist teams that consistently nail the look of the story, work so cohesively with one another, and provide visuals you cannot help but enjoy and admire.
I really like what HdE has done throughout this issue with captions nestled under or laid above other panels. It’s gives it a bit of flair, something you hadn’t considered. Something I think I really learned about HdE upon reading SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2 is he takes the reader on the ride through ther story. Pulling your eyes in the desired direction, carrying you from panel to panel. Many of the dialog boxes aren’t just placed where they are by happenstance. It’s a strategic move, an ability he possesses to direct your eyes to pair up perfectly with the artwork. And HdE has always impressed me by the amount of content, the number of words he can place in any panel. Somehow it turns out sharp, doesn’t detract from the illustrations, and really makes for a storyteller feel of how his words lead you. Impressive stuff.
The pairing of artist Davi Leon Dias & colorist Iwan Joko Triyono is a match made in heaven. When you look over their contributions to the multiple Ringo Award nominated & winner for Best Villain, ABERRANT, the crowdfunded project THE PEACEKEEPERS, and now with SUICIDE JOCKEYS, you get the sense that Davi and Iwan make each other better and create a fluidity not often seen in the industry. Not only that, but with each issue they put out, it seems like they only get better, improving all the time. I would easily put them in the Top Three artist/colorist combos in the indie scene today.
Though this Tokusatsu comic is gaining steam towards the time travel adventure and Mama back in action, underlying you’ll find some heart, personal reflection, humility, owning your mistakes, and the self-journeys of this once killer crew. The fact these emotions are peppered throughout the story gives you, as a reader and a fan, hope that this team of misfits can return to their glory days. Though they’re nowhere near as close as they once were, who knows?
SUICIDE JOCKEYS #2 is overflowing with character building, a great amount of backstory, and appealing science fiction aspects. It’s got action, it’s got attitude, and it’s about to get real. The stage is set for what is shaping up to be an adventure like no other. I cannot recommend this book enough. You do NOT want to miss where this badboy is going.
5 out of 5 Stars
Writer – Rylend Grant
Artist – Davi Leon Dias
Colorist – Iwan Joko Triyono
Publisher – Source Point Press