Okay, so Hine and Kane up the ante a little here. This issue takes the meta-fiction aspect of the comic—where the protagonist interacts with the idea of these comic book creators who share their names with the creators of Bulletproof Coffin—to the next level. Not only is the protagonist, in the “real world,” dealing with them, but they reveal this issue so are the characters in the comic books the protagonist is reading.
The development puts Coffin in a precarious position—if Kane and Hine fail to live up to expectations, the book’ll just plummet.
Hine’s narration is fine now. So fine I forgot it was a problem while reading.
The art is good—it’s nice how the stories crossover (the comic in the comic and the regular story) because Kane’s style matches. Though there’s a little too much nudity for a Silver Age book.
Dead Finks Walking; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.
The second issue doesn’t deal with the first’s soft cliffhanger, so I imagine Hine and Kane have something else planned in regards to the protagonist’s family. I’m just hoping they don’t go Truman Show.
This issue has a flashback comic of a crime series, sort of a proto-Punisher. Oddly, even though the character’s a ghost who kills in horrific ways, the introduction of the supernatural and his tone somehow makes him more pleasant. It’s very well-done old comics stuff, though Kane’s style doesn’t really change between it and the feature (i.e. one would never really think it was from 1959, just based on production values).
Hine’s narration seems stronger this issue too (at least, it doesn’t have any more pitfalls).
The comic takes an unexpected turn at the end—and the title now makes sense, something I was expecting to understand in the first one.
It’s smoothly sailing.
A Rat’s Cage; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.
Bulletproof Coffin is strange. Hine and Kane set it up as a thriller, possibly a superhero book, definitely with some horror and sci-fi elements. It also ends with the implied scene the protagonist’s sons are going to be mask-wearing psychopaths.
There’s also the meta-fiction aspect—Hine and Kane are off-panel characters in the story, they produced great comics in the sixties before Hine sold out (of course, Hine works for DC and Marvel too, I think). Bulletproof Coffin is definitely very thoughtful and it’s hard to think anything occurs without a definite purpose. By keeping that purpose obscured (the first issue reveals nothing), it gets up one’s hopes Hine and Kane won’t do something stupid.
Kane’s art is sinister and bright. The Silver Age “reprint” in this issue looks great.
Hine brings the problems to the table. Even though it’s intriguing, his narration is occasionally weak.
The Eye Within the Eye; writers, Shaky Kane and David Hine; artist and colorist, Kane; letterers, Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt; publisher, Image Comics.