I certainly see why this adventure of the wise guy Boston cabbie Stu was not included by creator/writer Brandon Barrows in his superhero-turned-detective noir piece Jack Hammer. No noir there.
Still this side tale on Stu, found among other creator stories in Grim Crew Comics' Extraordinary #2, is a delight and a tribute to the versatility of Barrows’ talents as a scribe and his belief and faith in his characters. I find that a bit refreshing.
Stu has a solo battle with a super-villain called Deathcloud; he’s “the man of a thousand stenches,” ya know. It seems our villain does not have tickets to the Riot Grrlz concert that night and is getting a bit huffy at the ticket booth; in truth, the concert had been sold out for weeks!
Stalwart Stu, doing his thing in front of a newswoman’s camera, spies the action and takes charge, something to make Hammer proud. It doesn’t quite go the way the sidekick would like, but Stu does wind up saving the day anyway, with a little help from his friends. The last panel is the payoff, for those who follow Barrows’ Hammer tales.
Sorry to say, Ionic’s usually great work just does not carry here. I know this may be a bit of fluff, but some of the artist's usually strong line work would have helped sell this piece much more.
Stu is one of my favorite parts of the Jack Hammer saga. Seeing him here was a great bonus, but perhaps he should follow Jack’s advice in the tale’s final shot.