by Gabriel Hardman
Joe’s infatuation with this dog, and the lengths to which he has gone to keep him call into question a lot about this character. Knowing very little about him and his motivations, the story so far has been one of immense intrigue. Hardman’s writing has allowed for readers to wonder if anyone else even processes the behavior of Joe as odd. In its third chapter, Kinksi meets up with Joe and his colleague, Frank, driving across the country in a rented car so that Joe could avoid putting the dog in the plane’s baggage section. The wheels begin to come off for Joe as Frank finally has time enough to ask him about what has been going on.
Hardman may have avoided tipping his hat towards how much those around Joe questioned his actions in prior issues, but in the third chapter readers are let in. Frank discovers the flyer that Holly had been hanging up and demands answers. It is both relieving and also a bit disappointing to see this veil come off on the story. Kinski held itself higher because of this added dimension of opaque story telling. Hardman, though, does well to continue forward with interesting information. Joe is an incredibly complex character. Though Frank shows that Joe’s behaviors are, in fact, perceived as abnormal in this issue, Joe remains an enigmatic individual.
Hardman’s art in the third issue of Kinski is not as strong as the first two. While it is still quite impressive, there are a few panels where the detailing and inking confuses the panels a bit. As the story quickens its pace it seems as though Hardman’s art becomes rushed. Possibly a choice, it still creates a lesser quality to the issue.
Joe acknowledges that his actions were rash and seemingly without any real cause. As Frank questions him further, readers actually realize just how much isn’t being said about Joe. Twice in the issue, the story indicates some sort of physical condition Joe may have that may also be at play, and it deepens the mystery. Hardman is to be commended for creating these complexities in such subtle ways, something that does not appear possible in a story so seemingly simple.
As the third chapter concludes, the decision to make things right may no longer be one that Joe is able to make. Is he putting Frank in jeopardy by dragging him into this situation both with work and the owners of the dog? And just how much longer is he going to have Frank tagging along with him before the man decides to detach from this bizarre individual? This issue is not as meaty as the first two, but it does continue to deliver an interesting story likely to pervade the thoughts of the reader in idle moments.