REVIEW: Short Sharp Shocks #2

Story by: Ger Hankey
Art by: Ger Hankey
Letters by: Ger Hankey
Cover by: Ger Hankey
Publisher: Self Published
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary
When I had a nice little surprise in my inbox a bit back, it was an advance copy of Short Sharp Shocks #2 from Irish creator Ger Hankey. It had been a while actually since the first issue but the wait was worth it. The anthology format of the book was a big draw from the first issue and it continued here with four strips. Two are continued from the first issue and there are two new ones to boot.
I commented when reviewing the last issue on ComicRelated that Hankey’s writing was an unknown quantity as we already knew that he was a great artist. Any fears were allayed as that first issue turned out tops. So expectations going into the second issue were high. I can happily report to you that the second issue hits the high bar that its predecessor set for it.
The first strip is one of those that were continued from issue one in Hybrid. Hybrid is a character who was born with superpowers but has no memory of life before being eleven years old and has the power to change sex. This issue sees a fair bit of information about Alex Kerr’s (Hybrid) past come to the fore as his Doctor, Dr. Johnson comes to Alex for help in finding a missing girl who is similar to Alex in that she has powers of her own. The script was great, filled with quick wit and genuine tension and action. It really brought to the fore, Hankey’s ability to craft a tense, gripping tale.
The second strip was also a follow on from the first issue. It was written with a razor sharp wit and was, for me, the highlight of the issue. It follows the travails of the Mighty Morgan who only wants to be feared by his people. But after vaporising a Jedward style Teen hero set, he finds that by doing so, he has played right into the wishes of his people who found the group very annoying and is now more popular then ever much to his despair.
The third strip is a nice cat & mouse story about a domesticated cat and a mouse he toys with. The mouse figures because the cat is a house cat he hasn’t the guts to kill the mouse and toys with the cat that gets his own on the mouse in the end.
The final strip is a brave strip as it challenges Hankey’s talent as a storyteller and gives it a major test in telling a silent story and lets the art tell the tale. It’s a great story about one mans quest for justice in the Old West. The format of this strip is so challenging it can easily be done wrong but using his strengths as an artist Hankey pulls it off with aplomb even using varying degrees of grey wash for the flashback sequences to differentiate different points in the protagonists life.
This book went on sale to the public last month at the Dublin Toy & Comic Mart in Wynne’s and is now available online and at comic shops. If you are looking for something that will entertain you thoroughly, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s great to see Ger Hankey back on the comic shelves once more and I encourage you to support top notch independent comic storytelling by buying this.