Rating: 4/5 – Cops as vigilantes in this exceptional “true crime” series.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Hank Johnson.
Ennis is an amazing writer and Red Team needs to be mentioned along with some of his better works. Red Team is the story of a group of cops turned vigilantes. After a failed investigation they establish a code of ethics they agree to follow and use it to determine when it is necessary and appropriate to cross the line and take the law into their own hands. Ennis establishes a layered story that provokes the reader to think about some larger societal issues. His hyper realistic approach to this story serves it very well. The characters are interesting and compelling but not as thoroughly developed as they could be.
As good as the series was, I was disappointed by the irregular shipping (not an issue for people who will read it as a collected edition). The first issue of the 7 issue series shipped well over a year ago. The shipping schedule really hurt the story momentum for me. However, when the next issue finally arrived it was well written enough to jump me back into the story without feeling lost or confused. I feel that reading this story as a collected edition will enhance the experience for the reader.
Craig Cermak’s art was a bit of a mixed bag. His interrogation room scenes did not seem to carry the emotions of the characters, but his action scenes, especially the final climatic action scene, were absolutely amazing. The story telling was top notch, with each step of that final fight more compelling than the last. Cermak handled the final dénouement perfectly. The scene felt alive, almost like a movie scene instead of a comic book page. The backgrounds were exceptional, detailed, and realistic. It hit home even harder because of the exceptional craft of each of the pages.
If you liked True Detective on HBO, I highly recommend you check out this series. Garth Ennis and Craig Cermak have created a truly exceptional story that is not only thought provoking but action packed as well. While the characters may not get developed as deeply as they are in some of Ennis’s other works, they are still compelling enough to keep you hooked on the story. Red Team is a great example that not every story has to have capes and tights to be compelling and intriguing. I would highly recommend taking the time and giving this series a read.
Reviewed by: Hank Johnson
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