Good Cop, Bad Cop Issue 1
By Jim Alexander and Luke Cooper
Sometimes high concept summaries are lazy things, sometimes they’re simply obvious and need stating upfront. Good Cop, Bad Cop is Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde as a police procedural in the violent bits of Scotland. That’s it. 24 pages of it. It could have been cliched rubbish, thank god it’s not.
Meet good cop Detective Inspector Fisher, here about to wander in, alone, to a particularly shitty Glasgow watering hole…..
Except Fisher has a secret. He may be going in alone in body, but there’s two people going in in his mind. Because whilst he’s the good cop, a little excitement, a little danger, a little violence….. now meet the bad cop….
After this seven page introduction and concept setter we’re dropped into somewhere else, where someone a damn sight nastier on the face of it than Fisher’s is doing terrible things to another man, for reasons we’re not sure of quite yet. Although given the nature of the comic, it’s a fair guess that Fisher and our mystery psychopath will cross paths soon.
From here, we’re thrown right into a number of plots, with Fisher pursuing the scrote he went into the bar for, alongside a new investigation involving a local bank manager’s missing wife, who seems to be missing a finger as well. Along the way there’s a glimpse into Fisher’s mysterious powers when we find there’s more to him than just his nasty piece of work alter-ego.
And it’s this jumping around in this issue that slightly mars Good Cop, Bad Cop. There’s something of a lightweight feel to the issue, but the real drawback is that sense of slight dislocation in the structure of the comic. Remember, this is a debut issue, so introducing the characters and setting the scene is what’s needed, and there also needs to be enough in here to grab the reader’s attention. Classic first issues, especially for genre based pieces like this need to hit the ground running and grab at the reader.
Good Cop, Bad Cop takes the splendid introduction of Fisher and the dog owning psychopath and then dilutes this by flitting around just a little too much, never given chance to settle quite enough.
But even after saying that there’s a wonderful sense of something here, almost a glee in the way it’s all being brought together, and that sense of glee is rather infectious, so much so that the second reading of it when putting the review together won me over. It may be somewhat flighty, or unfocussed at times, but if it’s a small failure, then it’s certainly a glorious small failure. Repeated readings merely reassure me that this is a comic very much on the right track – it’s not trying to be completely revolutionary, not trying to be groundbreaking, but it does manage to be what it sets out to be; something genre based, something interesting and fun. Definitely something to look forward to the second issue and beyond.
And we’ll end with a mention of Luke Cooper, whose art on the Planet Jimbot comic Amongst The Stars I really wasn’t all that keen on (see the review here), but in Good Cop, Bad Cop it works a damn sight better, primarily as it’s the only art in the comic, but also because the stark, stripped back style, the blank face looks, the minimalist backdrops work to tell the story fast and pure. He’s suddenly developed a great sense of style, of body language, of simple yet very effective facial expressions. All in all, his art, although maybe not to everyone’s taste, suits the tale, and I for one enjoyed it very much throughout.
You can get hold of Good Cop, Bad Cop from writer Jim Alexander – for details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org