Eric Kripke and John Higgins have something special in their Jacked mini-series for Vertigo.
This book is certainly rated R, so, my review will stay in line with that rating for the chitlins out there.
While yes they have my heart, that's not the special thing I'm talking about, but their amazingly relatable yet completely off the wall story in Jacked. The second issue builds off of what the first set up with its crude humor, brief but fun action and its amazing standalone full page panels of Josh.
For those who missed the first issue and my review, our main character is normal 40-year-old husband and father with bad knees, acid reflux and gets diarrhea when he drinks whiskey.
That last line isn't something I'm making up, that's literally in the book.
Josh gets hooked on the 'Jacked' pill, which advertises "Lost your spark? Stuck in a rut? Not living up to your potential? There's still time to change! You can still be great! Get Jacked!!"
So, he takes the pill, has a mad-crazy acid trip and then develops super strength and rips a car hinge off its door with his bare hands and his son is mesmerized and enamored with the fact that his dad is a real-life superhero.
The second issue plays off the emotions and feelings Josh has about taking this superpill. He plays a little game of, "of course, but maybe." He thinks of course I shouldn't take this pill, but then the thought of his adoring son sinks in and his eyes pan to the refrigerator where he sees a drawing of himself holding a car door above his head with hearts everywhere.
So, naturally, Josh takes another pill, and the next thing we know he's having ball-slapping sex with his wife and he lasts 45 minutes! Then he "bowflexes the shit out of his Bowflex" and he pees with the strength of a riot hose.
I'm laughing writing this review; this is literally the most fun I've had reading a comic in a very long time. The writing is clean, the plot flows with a smoothness unknown to mankind and Higgins has such a handle on this character.
I didn't expect the second issue to surpass the first, but it did by adding that extra layer to Josh's character. This is a man who wants to please his wife, provide for his family and be a hero to his kids. Yeah, he's an idiot that gets himself in some real shit in this issue, but the thing that makes this book special is that he means well, at least.
Josh's douchebag neighbor turns out to be so much more than just a bro, but a coke dealing bro with some scary friends. Our idiot of a main character unleashes some justice in this episode sans mask, and the last few pages do a great job of setting up the third go-round.
He's in some real shit now with literal blood on his hands, and we're about to see how Josh handles beating the shit out of bad guys and not just having an upset tum-tum from having a shot of Jack.
Keep doing you, Kripke and Higgins.
Rating: 9/10 For such a vulgar, descriptive and visually vulgar issue, this is such a smart book.