One of the most impressive things about The Maze Agency is how Barr manages such a large cast. He has two leads, one or two regular supporting players and then all the murder suspects. In this issue, concerning a Jack the Ripper copycat, he has something like eight suspects.
Obviously, the art plays a real factor. Hughes has to make each of the suspects distinct but believable. There’s one page identifying all the eventual suspects–every person gets a little description–and it all matches up beautifully. The reader can infer based on profession and appearance (and name, if one’s really playing attention). Maze is a rather well-produced comic book, it couldn’t work otherwise.
The mystery itself is solid; lots of unexpected turns, lots of creative page composition to maximize the space. The flirtation between the leads, however, is still stalled. Barr is starting to strain credulity with it.
The Return of Jack the Ripper?; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Adam Hughes; inker, Rick Magyar; colorist, Julia Lacquement; letterer, Deborah Marks; editor, Michael Eury; publisher, Comico.