Postal Deliverance #2 // Review
An issue of "Postal Deliverance" comes out just a few days after a couple of horrific mass shootings in the U.S. The series' exploration of violence and brutality from many different angles feels that much sharper as the stark simplicity of writer Bryan Hill's story is brought to the page by artist Raffaele Ienco. The simplicity of the story amplifies the brutality as Ienco's art brings an impressive amount of detail to the visual end of the story. The action might feel stiff, but the horror of the drama is given vivid life in a story exploring the nature of human violence.
Erik's spattered in blood, He's having a drink at a bar. It's his drink, but It's other people's blood. The police show-up. The slow tension between police and violent offender explodes quickly as Erik's introduced to the business end of a hypodermic needle. When he wakes up, he's strapped to a hospital bed and presented with a present. Elsewhere Laura has taken it upon herself to teach a young boy named Pascal to defend himself. She hands him a bat, points to a tree, and tells him to go to work. Laura's quick to find out, however, that when you give a kid a baseball bat, every problem looks like a tree.
Hill separates the second issue of Postal Deliverance into three acts. The acts are straightforward and direct. The first involves Mark and his fate at the hands of the law. It's a brutal, brutal world and there's always someone with more power. The second involves Mark the mayor and his home life. He's a prisoner to his job. There's a silent tension as he greets his wife and their child. The final act involves Laura's attempt to aid little Pascal. The first two are vividly brutal punches to the gut. The crushing simplicity of each act amplifies the tragedy of human violence. Hill has a remarkable sense of restraint with the story. There's no need for complexity. Just show the reader the emotional weight of violence. It's a striking approach to drama on the comic book page.
Ienco's art is compelling. There's full heartbreaking detail written into every face. The line work is incredibly detailed without feeling messy or cluttered. Where it falters a bit is in the delivery of action. Everything feels so stiff. Characters often stand around in somewhat awkward poses on one panel before falling into something far more natural on the next page. It's weird and oddly chilling to see such emotion on the faces of the characters when their bodies are so stiff and mannequin-like. As awkward as the violence occasionally feels on the page, Ienco does a breathtaking job of delivering a moody atmosphere to the page. Ienco is brilliant with the drama. It's too bad the physical end of things is so inconsistent.
There's an underlying mystery beneath the shock of violent actions. Rather than trying to explore the nature of violence from a rational space, Hill and Ienco are delivering the naked mystery of violence to the page. It's quite a shock when it manages its most effective moments...and there are some VERY effective moments in this issue.