Codebreakers #2 (of 4) (Boom! – Malloy / Godlewski)
With time running out, Garner, Lindsay and Malcolm race against the clock to discover the truth behind Stanley’s disappearance. Meanwhile Stanley is faced with a code more difficult than he’s ever faced before. What secrets does it hold? And how is it connected to Garner’s past? And more importantly, what will they do with Stanley once it’s cracked? It’s all in a day’s work for the eltie Cryptanalysis Unit of the FBI.
Just this morning I read issues one and two of Codebreakers… pretty stinkin’ cool! But then again I am math geek and have always assumed that Seth Green was the true hero of the Italian Job.
The series revolves around a government black ops group whose members are experts in solving puzzles and finding patterns – whether those patters are found in mathematics, in a crime scenes, or in people’s interactions. The series opener has the young hotshot of the group (Stan) supposedly committing suicide… and the rest of the crew immediately knowing that this does in deed not fit the pattern.
Carey Malloy, Hollywood scriptwriter, gives a fast-paced streamlined story that has the perfect tempo to be able to allow time and detail for the readers to be impressed with the level of genius of characters and also have enough action so they are not bogged down by “egg-head” details.
The team has uncovered that Stan did not kill himself, but instead was abducted by a intellectually-equal and morally-challenged baddie (“I want to reward you Stan for your work done so far… which would you prefer? to keep the toes on your left or right foot?”). Apparently he needs Stan’s mathematical expertise to break a code for nefarious purposes and he is staying at least two steps ahead of the team. Carey Mallow taps into what he’s good at, and the comic reads like a fantastic action-packed spy show. Part Numb3rs, part Chuck, part 21st century James Bond and all covered in gooey awesome sauce! Scott Godlewski’s visual interpretation does an incredible service to the story-telling of this comic. He is able to convey to the reader a ton of vital information through his frames, without the verbage slowing down the story. A few examples of this that stuck out in my mind was when are when Donald Foster (the team handler) goes to Stan’s apartment for clues or when Lindsey Abbott (who can decode the subtext in people’s behaviors / speech) uses her ability to read and manipulate situations within moments. We, as the reader, get exactly what the character got without having to wade through a lengthy explanation.
The combo of Mallow and Godlewski is a powerful one here and I can’t see how someone reading Codebreakers, couldn’t not see this becoming a kick-ass property!
Issue grade: A