After loosing his employer, Joe has made in his mission to hunt down and kill the people responsible for not only killing her, but her sister and his girlfriend, Laura. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Not to mention Laura’s afterlife just got much more complicated. Your review after the jump!


Story just keeps getting stronger
Artist and writer work well together as a team

Laura and Joe’s relationship is a little unrealistic
Templesmith isn’t for everyone

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆



tengrand3TEN GRAND #3
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Ben Templesmith
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Phil Smith
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in TEN GRAND: Joe sought out a lead that led him to Divine Will, a sacrificial night club that tricks mortals into selling their souls. After talking with a Fleshist, a demon wearing the body of a human about a lead on Sarah Thomas, he’s attacked. Not long after that, Sarah’s sister Debbie, and the woman Joe happens to be helping, promptly jumps off her building’s roof to her death.


As Joe continues to get in deeper and deeper with both angels and demons, he becomes less and less sure of whether or not he’s being told the whole truth about Laura and the arrangement he has with the angelic forces. While previously the reader wasn’t given a whole lot to go on where Joe’s past was concerned, Laura and Joe’s relationship is given a much more thorough look. Not to mention, Joe’s fears may be realized as the reader is given a quick peek behind the veil of Laura’s afterlife.

Ten Grand just becomes more and more intriguing as it goes on, with Straczynski creating an epic world of demons, angels, and those that serve them. With Joe acting as the reader’s guide and narrator, each side is given a critical look. Straczynski seems to like to play around with the reader’s possible preconceived notions of good and bad, with special emphasis placed on the dealings of angels. Did they lie? Why did they lie? Why didn’t they keep their deal regarding Laura? Is it possible they just couldn’t keep their deal?

It’s nice to see a happier time in Joe’s life too. With a look into his relationship with Laura, one can see why he’d want ‘out of the life.’ What’s a little hard to believe is how easily she takes to the fact that Joe is a Button Man. While it’s nice that he found someone so understanding, it’s a little beyond belief that any sane person would take that information in stride.


Templesmith is one of those artists that you either love or hate, simply because his art is outside of a lot of people’s comfort zone. Still, in this book, he regularly turns out good work. The series itself feels like one is stuck between two worlds, so it makes sense that the art would match the concept. That’s something only Templesmith can really achieve. He seems to get Straczynski’s storytelling and is more than up to the task of keeping up.

What’s interesting about Templesmith’s work on this book in particular is his take on ‘happy’ subjects, such as the positive aspects of Laura’s afterlife. It’s supposed to be a heavenly existence yet, even then, there is a jagged dark quality to his sketch-like lines and his slight shading. It feels like it’s foreshadowing things to come, making the angel realm not quite what it seems.


Overall, this is a fairly strong book and it only serves to add to the story instead of hinder it. With Straczynski behind the authorial wheel and Templesmith riding artistic shotgun, the story gets more and more intense as it goes on. This is one to pick up if you’ve been following the comics so far or if you just like the work of either the artist or the writer. Overall, Ten Grand #3 earns four out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆


About Author

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.