Choker issue 1. Review #2 – Richard’s completely biased review….

Published On March 26, 2010 | By Joe Gordon | Comics, Reviews

Choker Issue 1 (of 6)

by Ben McCool and Ben Templesmith

Image Comics

Choker 1 Cover Choker 1 Variant

Johnny Jackson, ex-cop turned private eye is having yet another bad day in what is turning out to be a truly horrible life. Things haven’t been the same since getting kicked off the force. Fair enough, even when he was a cop Jackson had to patrol the streets of Shotgun City, sink-hole of the world. Just when he’s thinking it can’t get any worse he gets the offer he’s been dreaming of – the chief of police offers him his job back. And all he has to do is return one particularly nasty piece of work to jail. He doesn’t know it yet, but saying yes just turned his life into something worse than he could possibly imagine.

And that’s issue 1 of Choker, the new 5 issue series from writer Ben McCool and artist Ben Templesmith. It’s a comic I really can’t be all that objective about since I worked with Ben McCool for years at Nostalgia And Comics before he made the move to the states and what will hopefully be the start of a glittering writing career. But on the strength of this first issue of Choker, I think McCool will do just fine in comics.

He writes with a style that’s a mix of Chandler, Elroy, Deadwood and most pertinently, Warren Ellis. And it’s the Ellis comparison that’s strongest at first since, combined with Templesmith’s artwork Choker looks very similar to Ellis and Templesmith’s Fell. McCool may write like Ellis, but he writes very well; I’d have really enjoyed Choker even if I didn’t know the writer. As a first issue it’s just perfect – setting the grim, desperate mood of both Shotgun City and of Johnny Jackson, creating a sense of much worse to come, and doing it with some razor sharp dialogue.


Templesmith’s artwork is good (just as Michael said in his review that should be right above this one) and McCool’s words have always been great – he’s a wonderful raconteur and many, many enjoyable nights were spent in his company. But finally seeing his work in print, in a major new series is just marvellous. Personally I can’t wait for more from the two Bens.

Biaised I may be, but Choker is a great start to a potential great series.

Choker 1 and 2 might still be available, (second prints of both have been rush released) and the rest of the issues are here.

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About The Author

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon is’s chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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