Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hard Time #7 - 12

Written by Steve Gerber
Art by Brian Hurtt,Rich Burchett, and Steve Bird

The second half of this series was never collected into trade, is not likely to be now.  The first volume caught my attention, so I've hunted down the rest of this title, along with the shorter Season Two. 

Gerber really had a good thing going with his story of young Ethan Harrow, a fifteen year old sent to prison for his role in a school shooting.  The prison is populated with a number of interesting characters, and Gerber has a good feel for penitentiary life, politics, and the effects of institutionalization on people.  This is not just Ethan's story, it's the story of everyone in that prison, although the focus remains on the protagonist, and his strange ability to leave his body in the form of an energy monster.

In this arc, Ethan learns the origins of his ability (it's pretty strange), and meets the granddaughter of his cell mate, who previously thought he had no family.  A number of sub-plots, including the conflict between the Aryans and the Latinos comes to its head.

Gerber was a gifted writer for off-beat comics, and this series stands up as being among his best work.  Hurtt's art works very well here.  It's a shame that this title didn't get more recognition while it was being published, even if it was the only Focus title to achieve any real success.

No comments: