Under the Radar: Jericho Season 4 # 3

I’m not sure how many of you actually know about Jericho or not but just to be safe here’s a little crash course.  Jericho was a genera show, way back in 2006, about the fictional town of Jericho Kansas and its residents trying to make their way through the collapse of the United States.  Long story short, 23 major cities get nuked obliterating the current government structure as well as knocking out all power and communication effectively turning Jericho into a city-state over night.  The show follows the people of Jericho as they try and survive, go to war, get taken over, and slowly learn the truth about the who, what, and why America was nuked. 

The show originally went a full season and then was cancelled.  Then the fans got together and campaigned for a second season and it actually worked!  Jericho came back for another seven episodes and unfortunately was cancelled again.  Obviously, the story doesn’t end there as the fans and the show creators kept pounding the pavement, trying to find Jericho a new home.  In 2009 Devil’s Due Publishing started publishing the comic continuation of the show that had the show writing staff working on it.  However, they only put out three issues of the new season.  Then IDW came around finished out the season as well as continuing the series into another season with the writing staff still overseeing the writing process.

Issue 3 of season 4 is a bit lack luster when compared to the rest of the series.  The art isn’t very good; sometimes looking like poorly photoshoped images of the actors faces slapped on stock bodies.  However, though I can’t fault the comic too much on this.  I’ve found that this is a common problem with comic adaptations/continuations of T.V. shows or movies.  The fans already know what the characters and show are supposed to look like so the artist are trying to re-create the show rather than putting their own spin on the series.  If anyone has seen a Star Trek comic you know what I’m talking about.  Yet this caveat does not extend to the coloring which is just horrible.  It never looks right and often times characters look sickly or bruised.  The story suffers from middle child syndrome in that we’re seeing a lot of what will happen rather than stuff happening.  This issue is really just a lot of “twist sprinkles” and by that I mean it’s sprinkled with bits of information that set up some sort of twist later in the story.  Right now it feels like the writer is trying to do a 20+ episode season in five books.  It seems like a doable idea, and I don’t doubt it is, but right now it’s destroying the pacing of the story.  With so much happening at once it’s hard to really get attached to any one character and get invested in what’s going on.

Now I know I’m not painting this issue in the brightest light and that’s because it doesn’t really deserve proper lighting.  Season 3 and the previous two issues have been much more enjoyable with much better art and story pacing, even if it still feels a bit rushed.  So my suggestion to you, dear readers, is to watch the first two seasons, they’re on Netflix, and learn for yourselves why this was one the top 15 cult hits of all time and then catch up with the comic and see how one of the best and unique stories in the last 10 years enfolds.

Come on, it’s a post-apocalyptic America story without zombies.  How can you not read this?

Final Verdict: Finally No Zombies, or (for fellow Jericho fans) NUTS!

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