24: Underground #4 Review

Should ardent fans of 24 bother with this mini-series? Read on to find out.

The official description from IDW:

Now that you’ve seen Jack Bauer’s return to television in LIVE ANOTHER DAY, read the story that sent the heroic agent spiraling into his darkest days as an international fugitive. In Odessa, Ukraine, Jack has found himself stuck between the CIA and a Russian mobster from his past. How will he get out of this one?

24-Undeground 4_Preview PageI’ll freely admit that as far as television history is concerned, this is one franchsie that was a game changer in its heyday. It carried a creative structure that brought the excitement of an action movie each and every week for eight straight seasons, but as time went on it’s structure became a bit too formulaic. But now we’re in 2014 and the iconic brand has made a return with a companion comic to boot.

Ed Brisson pens the script as Jack Bauer faces the closing moments of his time in the Ukraine. The text is there for our protagonist, as an easy to follow plot unfolds without the trademark ticking clock that 24 fans have become rather accustomed to. For the most part all the varying pieces flow well but it should be noted that our hero has gone to bat against some seriously twisted villains in his career, but sadly this mobster isn’t quite living up to that legacy.

The visuals handed in by Michael Gaydos are without a doubt the star of these festivities. The talent perfectly captures a grimy real world feels that offers a unique style in the wake of this medium transition. Each panel is lavished with details, to the point that the human likeness of characters becomes astonishing. The colors by Josh Burcham complement the body of work but they also pushed the renditions into slightly different waters, which is not an entirely bad thing.

24: Underground #4 is another fitting entry that does what a penultimate issue needs to do: it ramps up the stakes. And in classic fashion we see our endearing icon with his back against the literary wall. Recommended.

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