Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: Officer Downe

Officer Downe is a gory, ultra violent one-shot comic from the minds of writer Joe Casey, and artist Chris Burnham. The titular character, Officer Downe is a bad-ass, mustachioed, one-man-wrecking-crew of a cop. The issue begins with Downe, literally, busting some drug lords. Much ass is whooped, but the confrontation ends with a massive explosion, killing Officer Downe. That ain't the end of Officer Downe though! As we soon find out, his employers, the LAPD, simply use a cadre of telekinetics to patch up, and give life back into Downe's body. Once Downe is whole again, relatively speaking, (he seems to be a bit more crazy after each resurrection), Downe is ready to hit the streets and deal out his version of steel justice.

Unfortunately for Officer Downe, while he was recuperating, an evil society called the Fortune 500, (I was unsure if this referred to the heads of the world's largest corporations, or just some criminal helps to not think too hard about this comic's plot), has put a hit out on our hero. The hired assassin is a hip-hop ninja named Zen Master Flash. With the help of his legion of ninja trainees, Zen Master Flash lures Officer Downe by attacking Cedars-Sinai hospital. What transpires can only be described as: hardcore ultra-violent action!

Officer Downe is all kinds of crazy and pretty much awesome. It is kinda light on plotting, and certainly lacks any kind of depth. It is a classic "what you see is what you get" experience, but it is pretty damn entertaining. Burnham's artwork is decidedly gore-filled, but it has such an over the top approach to it that it was never really stomach-churning, but instead more or less comical. On each page I found myself scouring every panel in an attempt to pick out every minute detail that Burnham included, and there's plenty of plunder for those who take the time.

My major complaint about Officer Downe is that the ending seemed rushed. There didn't seem to be any kind of conclusion to the overall story line. It seemed like the story just ran out of space, and that was it. However the double-page splash to end the comic was amazing. Perhaps there'll be more Officer Downe to be had in the future. For now, I'll be reservedly satisfied with this action packed gore-fest.

Grade: B-

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