Issue: The Rinse #2
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Author: Gary Phillips
Artist: Marc Laming
Colors: Darrin Moore
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover A: Paul Azaceta (Colors: Nick Filardi)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
The second installation of Gary Phillips’s The Rinse came out swinging! I described the first in the series as gritty, and that was an incredible understatement compared to the direction the narrative has taken in this next installment. Some spoilers ahead!
The first installment gave us a lot of background info, characterization, a lot of build up. This second story moved much faster, almost flying through scenes. The drama was darker and dirtier, the content more adult, and the violence was totally present. This second installment upped the excitement factor, for sure. But it also left me wanting more in terms of fleshing out the plot-line, better explaining characters and motives.
The first one was a set up and now this second story is literally wham, bam, thank you m’am! The sex worker stuff was unexpected, and I didn’t like seeing our bad guy hurting a lady. Lady of the night or not, no lady should get hit!
Moving fast and jumping from scene to scene so bluntly, I found myself having to go back and re-read, which I don’t like to do. I appreciate a more fluid storyline. Don’t get me wrong: fast-paced is a good thing, jagged isn’t. I was all, who’s Britney?!? Where are we? What’s going on? I don’t mind feeling dumb when I read a comic, I like to know the writer is more clever than I am; I don’t like getting confused when I’m reading and having to re-read and re-read.
There was one scene that did slow down and personalize things for us: the interaction between Cheng and the I.R.S. agent. It also felt a bit cheesy. Cheng’s Triad involvement seems a little predictable; it’s too easy that a character named Cheng has Triad backgrounds. But, I did like the whole implication about Sinclair being a “principled man in an unprincipled profession.” That was a cool line, and a valid point: Sinclair should be taken very seriously. So while I appreciated this scene for giving us that background characterization stuff I like, it was hokey. We already know Sinclair is this totally smart awesome bad guy money laundry expert, knowing he was a math major doesn’t dazzle me! It made me giggle. It felt corny.
All the drugs, sex workers, guy-on-girl violence and what-not was pretty intense! I wasn’t expecting this second round to step it up so much. Gritty is certainly the perfect word. I also liked the wit — there were some funny one-liners and good sarcastic wordplay. Lines about money crossing palms, or the Deepak reference. That humor was subtle enough to make me smile without giving me that too-cheesy-cringe feeling. But not every zinger was perfect, and there were a couple awkward cornball lines that totally got an eye roll from me, for example, “I’ve seen you shake your good thing.” Ugh. Dreadful line!
Overall, this is an exciting, dirty, crazy story sprinkled with a little cheese. It still has my attention, but I’m not as happy and excited as I was after reading the first one.
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars