‘Doberman #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Frank Doberano is back in Los Angeles, and while the city may have changed, Frank is betting everything that Jasper Kane is still the same no-good criminal scumbag who killed his partner all that time ago.  Rehabilitated in the eyes of the city, and never having to actually pay for his crimes, Kane is now on top of the world, but Frank doesn’t intend to let him stay there for long, no matter what anyone else says.  Frank has made up his mind, and Kane is going down.  Welcome to issue two of Doberman, the new buddy cop comedy comic from Darby Pop Publishing and IDW.

Subtlety is not Frank’s strong suit, and he barrels through Los Angeles, sometimes as an obnoxious misogynist and sometimes as a bit of a crazy person, who also happens to be a cop.  There’s no denying Frank’s intensity, which is only matched by his disregard for rules, loose cannon instincts, and biting sense of humor.  Laughs are in full force thanks to writers Rob Rosell, Scott Marder, and Jack Lambert, and they jump right into this issue with some great physical comedy featuring Frank at his wildest, literally.  A bull in a china shop, Frank has never been good at processing real emotions, instead coping by acting out, and some habits die hard, if at all.  Frank is given a new partner, a straitlaced and inexperienced desk cop named Ken Newton, and comedy ensues from their disparate pairing.  Ken also serves as a likeable character we can sometimes more easily relate to than the rough-around-the-edges Frank, and he is a humorous and welcome addition to the cast of characters.  Frank and Ken could both learn something from each other, though, hopefully, Ken will be able to discern the good from the bad when it comes to Frank’s advice.

Brandon McKinney’s art provides a sense of realism that helps to keep the story grounded, even when Frank may go off the rails, or things explode into comical action movie territory, which is rather quite entertaining.  The colors are natural and full of earth tones and police blues, and while Frank may wear a five o’clock shadow and a frown, the city looks clean and happy thanks to colorist Zac Atkinson.  This adds more weight to the scenes where Frank pulls back the shiny veneer to reveal the seedy underbelly he knows is lurking underneath, or gets into a fight trying to reveal that nastiness.  Troy Peteri’s lettering has a comical self-awareness to it when it comes to sound effects, and they can push a funny scene over the top.  He also composes the dialogue balloons perfectly so that they never interrupt the pacing, especially important when jokes are on the line, and Doberman has more than a few zingers.  Frank is funniest when he is just being himself, because he doesn’t follow normal social cues and speaks his mind without hesitation, often annoying those around him, but always delighting us.

If you believe in justice but not following the rules, then Doberman is the perfect book for you, because Frank Doberano always gets the job done, no matter if he has to do it up, down, backwards, or sideways.  He’s the guy you want in your corner, because if he’s not he’s probably going to punch you in the face. So, avoid getting punched in the face and take to the streets with Doberman.        

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