On the surface, Jacked comes off as a a vulgar, disgusting, hilarious and exciting series.
While it's definitely all of those things (and then some in No. 3), there's a lot more story and real-life emotion embedded throughout the plot than people give it credit for. I never thought I would say that last sentence for a book that literally starts with the line "I was about to search for 'Sloppy Rim Jobs' when, instead, I decided to search for myself online."
Yeah, that's the first page.
Josh searches for himself and nothing comes up, and this is when we pull out to Josh saying "I've never made my mark. Never done anything that really mattered. And it's looking less and less likely that I ever will ... "
Our lead says that line as the artists shows us a wide shot of the room, as Jeff sits naked, with a picture of his family, wife and kids while a stuffed bunny rests on the dresser. Someone who doesn't think he's ever made anything that matters has two young children and a wife.
Josh is so caught up with wanting to be a big deal, and an essential super hero, that he forgets about the actual two people that he created.
The neighbor Josh beat the shit out of is still in the hospital and in what appears to be a coma. One thing has changed, though, and that's that the dude's pissed off, ripped, drug-dealing brother is sitting over him murmuring "fell down the stairs. My. Ass."
In this issue, Josh is experiencing withdrawals from the Jacked pills -- hence, the issue being named "Chasing the Dragon" -- and he ends up barfing on a stuffed bear while out at with his kids and wife.
That's as much plot as I'll give away, and don't worry that's only like the first couple of pages, because this book needs to be read.
Eric Kripke has a tight, filthy plot that can be related to one page and then freakin' outrageous the next. I'm not sure if John Higgins will take this as a compliment or not, but, he's the best in the game at bringing naked, out of shape 40-something-year-old dudes to life. In all seriousness, he's got a great grip on the main character and how he wants to portray Josh's strengths.
There's still time to jump on this series, as this is the halfway point. The plot is definitely getting juicier as this issue sets it up big time for No. 4.
I do have one thing to say that could be toned down, there's a similar scene to the first page and I described and Josh's original first search of choice, this time, felt foul just to be foul. I won't give it away, but it involved "Gmilfs" ??? Yeah, I mean, that's the only moment that took me out of the plot and made me shake it off.
Other than that, I love this series, and this issue does a great job of pacing the plot while delivering action and hilarity.
Rating: 7/10 The weakest of the series to date. Still a strong book, but for the first time, the gross comedic inner-dialogue felt forced.