- Writer: Doug Wagner
- Artist: Daniel Hillyard
- Colorist: Charlie Kirchoff
- Cover artist: Jason Pearson
- Publisher: 12 Gauge Comics
I.C.E. Critical Mass #1 introduces readers to Cole Matai, the newest recruit for the Great Falls, Montana branch of the U.S. Immigrants and Customs Enforcement Agency (I.C.E.). We learn that Matai had a promising history with the Phoenix, AZ police department, but his reasons for leaving are never exposed. In his first day on the job with I.C.E., Matai goes out to a no name town with a senior officer to check out a potential raid spot. The patrol quickly explodes from an observation exercise into a full on raid when the I.C.E. officers see a potential suspect entering a building’s basement. What they find is a seemingly abandoned basement, save for a captive young woman with hardly any clothing to speak of, shivering and clearly terrified. Releasing the girl from her chains, the agents turn to leave as the suspect makes his presence known. Explosions and gunfire ensue as the two forces battle to escape the hideout unscathed.
Meanwhile, the local sheriff in Cedar Creek is about to get the break she’s been looking for with a local crime ring. Just as the sheriff is about to call into her superior to confirm her long-standing suspicions, she is taken captive by the very crime ring she is investigating. The sheriff is taken to an undisclosed location where she is held captive with another woman. We quickly learn that the sheriff’s captors are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their operation from reaching any other law enforcement officials, even if it means they have to kill the sheriff to keep her quiet.
Brightly colored onomatopoeia pops against the dark, gritty scenery of this dark tale. Whether they’re working through the law enforcement agencies or within a crime ring, the stress and exhaustion of these character’s jobs is evident in each panel. Their determination to succeed in their field is evident.
I.C.E. Critical Mass #1 is a fast paced adventure that promises plenty of suspense with just enough intrigue to keep you reaching for the next issue. This series is ideal for cop-drama and gangster film fans alike. The four-part series continues in I.C.E. Critical Mass #2, available now via publisher 12 Gauge Comics.
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