Saturday, January 01, 2005

Hard Time: 50 to Life graphic novel

writer: Steve Gerber
artist: Brian Hurtt
published by DC Comics

Ethan Harrow was a dork. A dweeb. A spaz. A nerd. An outcast. Because of this, the diminuative high school student and his friend Brandon Snodd took a good portion of their student body hostage. They planned it as a joke...a way to humiliate the jocks and popular people who'd laughed at them.
Of course, it all went terribly wrong. Brandon snapped and started shooting. And Ethan, well...something happened to Ethan. And that something punched a hole through Brandon's chest, ending the standoff.
Ethan is tried as an adult and sentenced to fifty years to life. And that something happens again at his sentencing. This time, no one is killed, but the court room gets trashed pretty thoroughly.
See...Ethan has super powers.
Reprinting the six issues of the limited series, Hard Time is as unconventional story as Gerber's told...which is saying something, as he's the creator of Marvel's Howard the Duck and the classic Hanna Barbera adventure toon Thundarr the Barbarian. Ethan's travails in prison are fairly textbook to viewers of Oz, but the addition of his extra abilities changes things considerably. He doesn't seem to control these powers initially, but when he learns to accept them and takes control, they earn him a semblance of freedom in a world that's utterly hostile to him.
Interesting book, and ripe for a sequel...
I'm intrigued.

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