Grifter #1


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Grifter #1


  • Words: Nathan Edondson
  • Art: Cafu
  • Inks: Jason Gorder
  • Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 20, 2011

Grifter was one of the characters I was least interested in as part of the DC relaunch. He, along with Voodoo, I thought was only included thanks to Jim Lee’s affection for his former WildStorm characters, but when Nathan Edmondson was announced as the scribe behind this series, I knew I had to give Grifter a chance.

Edmondson is the man behind successful Image series such as Olympus, and The Light, and so having him unleashed on a full-on superhero comic was enticing. However, this is not a superhero comic at all. At least, not yet, which makes it even more enticing actually, and a wise move to diversify DC’s new line.

The cover is a good indicator of what Grifter is setting out to be. There promises to be gun-toting action, with a hint of superheroics (check out the cool mask) complete with a sci-fi edge. All this could add up to the most anime-influenced book of the relaunch so far.

Edmondson nods at this “odd one out” take by having the titular hero spill a drink on one “Mr. Harras” on an airplane in the first page. Yes, Bob Harras is the EIC of DC Comics, which just goes to show that Grifter doesn’t bow down to authority.

Knowing nothing of the character, I cannot say if he resembles his previous incarnation in the WildStorm Universe, or even his recent appearances in Flashpoint, but I’ll gladly follow him now.

As a first issue, it’s a doozy and dangles enough tantalising questions to almost guarantee readers will come back for more, as we slowly discover who Cole Cash is and what he’s capable of. Cole Cash is a con-man who travels and uses his charm and wit to steal money, working with his partner Gretchen. After his latest job, he gets kidnapped and experimented upon. Managing to escape, he boards a plane to rejoin Gretchen, but begins hearing voices and gets into a fight with some possibly alien possessed passengers. He bravely loses them and is later told that the time he thought he lost during his imprisonment is greater than he imagined. The last few pages channel these elements into a new mission for Cole, as he goes from con-man to marked man.

Cafu’s art has a lean approach, at times almost approaching the realism of Gary Frank’s pencils. He handles the time shifting narrative of the story well, but as most of this issue consists of people in business suits, airports, and an empty warehouse, I’m curious to see more of the military technology, no holds barred action and the mix of mystery and sci-fi that future issues promise. That’s not to say that this debut isn’t exciting however. It actually sets up things superbly without forcing exposition upon us, but rather skilfully sets up enough mysteries to make Cole Cash’s journey in the new DC a very dangerous, and interesting, one.

Those who like Edmondson’s Who Is Jake Ellis? series (which should be everyone who’s read it) will find much to like here, with a man on the run trying to discover who he is and what’s been done to him. Of all the books to choose from coming from DC this month, I’d bet Grifter would entice plenty of comics newbies. There’s no spandex or convoluted origins and it is a very accessible and entertaining premiere.

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