Overview

Cobb: Off The Leash #2

Review

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Cobb: Off The Leash #2

Credits

  • Words: Beau Smith
  • Art: Eduardo Barreto
  • Inks: Eduardo Barreto
  • Colors: N/A
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 12, 2006

The Russian mafia has the beautiful informant trapped in a building. What they didn’t count on, is that the jacked-up, bone-breaking man called Cobb is between them and her.

Nikita Melnikov, former lover of Russian mob boss Yuri Ivankov, has been marked for death. Holed up at Murphy’s investigation firm, the mafia closes in and begins storming the building. Now it’s up to ex-secret service agent Frank Cobb and Murphy to single handedly hold the building against the most dangerous men in Yuri’s mob. Just as the mafia underestimates how dangerous one man can be, Yuri changes the rules making someone else a very attractive target.

Everything old is new again, as two-fisted Beau Smith takes the 1970s-style violent action hero and dusts him off for 2006. Cobb: Off the Leash #2 certainly isn’t the book for you if you want a challenging read or something that will change the world. This is the comic book equivalent off hunkering down in the easy chair, with a bowl of pretzels, a beer and watching a Bronson movie at 2 in the morning. The villains are violent and unrelenting, and the heroes even more so. In Cobb, Smith’s protagonist displays a calm, controlled violence that makes him that kind of cool that every guy’s dreamed about being at some point. On the other side of the law, Yuri demonstrates a similarly calm demeanor and dry wit, which, without the (somewhat liberal) moral compass of Cobb, makes him a chilling counterpoint to the anti-hero. The supporting cast – Nikita the target, Murphy the old friend/father figure and his grand-daughter Molly – are all cut from the conventions of the genre. Nikita and Murphy play their roles to type, while Smith plays up Molly, giving her a capable attitude more suited to the 21st century. The issue itself begins with a tense quiet before literally exploding into a barrage of gunplay and death. If there’s a criticism of the story, I’d say that this book would probably be more enjoyable as part of a collection, as opposed to a single issue.

Eduardo Barreto’s art takes on a dynamic and dark tone in this black and white comic. Using heavy shading and shadow, Barreto creates an oppressive, confining feel to the panels, trapping you in the building along with Cobb, Murph, Molly and Nikita. Throughout the books, he frequently offers a variety of viewpoints for the reader, adding to the already established similarities to the cinematic experience.

Cobb: Off the Leash #2 pays homage to the conventions of the genre, without slavishly copying the clichés.

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