Overview

The Gift #9

Review

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The Gift #9

Credits

  • Words: Raven Gregory
  • Art: Tyler Kirkham
  • Inks: Sonia Oback
  • Colors: Jason Keith
  • Story Title: Corrupt
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jan 5, 2005

Crooked cops turn a young woman’s life upside down while the Ancient One continues to pursue his mysterious agenda.

For Vannie and her friends, life is little more than an endless party. They spend their nights drinking, smoking and fooling around without a care in the world. While some might look down upon the group as lay-about kids, there is genuine affection between them and they’re the only real family Vannie has. However, when a group of corrupt cops targets them in a raid, Vannie’s life gets a lot more complicated. The creepy guy in the trench coat offering her supernatural powers isn’t helping matters either…

Each issue of The Gift is more or less a standalone story and this approach is refreshing in a medium rife with multi-part epics and decompressed storytelling. Within the span of a single issue, Raven Gregory crafts a compelling tale and maintains the reader’s attention from page one. On this outing, he does an admirable job giving the characters a distinct voice and balances the more horrific elements with a few moments of humor and pathos. In addition, the ongoing enigma of the Ancient One remains one of the more interesting aspects of the book.

That said, while I enjoy the writing and the central concept, I can’t help feeling the series has untapped potential. The Ancient One’s gifts could be used in a variety of ways but the majority of the issues have followed the same theme - revenge. One would assume that certain individuals would use their gifts for fame and fortune, for thrill-seeking, for self-destruction or for other applications. The story potential in this concept is vast, but revenge seems to be the most frequent focus (with the notable exception of issue 8, perhaps the most powerful story thus far). It’s possible Gregory is making a comment on the baser instincts of human nature or that there is a reason these particular individuals were chosen. Ultimately, the Ancient One’s motives will need to be revealed before we can determine if this criticism is valid.

Working in tandem with Gregory’s story, Tyler Kirkham’s artwork has a very slick and polished look. It’s appropriate the series ended up at Image, as Kirkham’s style reminds me of the hyper-detailed art the publisher was known for in its early years. Every aspect seems heightened, from the lead character’s sexiness to the smarmy qualities of the cops and the Ancient One’s intensity. Backed by Sonia Oback’s inks and Jason Keith’s blend of bright and somber colors, the artwork gives the series a specific feel and contributes to the reader’s emotional response to the story.

As it stands, The Gift is a good series that may get even better once its secrets are revealed and the overall direction becomes clearer. The concept can explore avenues not often seen in this genre and that certainly entices me to come back for more.

-Eric Lindberg

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