21 Down Volume 3
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Publisher: Warner Bros
This volume continues immediately after the end of the previous one. Mickey Rinaldi has taken Preston Kills to see a young woman rather inaptly named Harmony. She engenders such a powerful attraction in people, male and female, inducing them to curry her favor, that they will do whatever she wants. She's about to force Preston and Mickey to fight it out over her when Agent Rinaldi simply knocks her out and then sedates her.
They carry her off to a less public location, with Preston bitching about it all the way, and Rinaldi comes up with a sure-fire method to be able to talk to her without Harmony being able to exert any of her persuasive power over them. It's at this point, as they communicate inventively with the restrained girl, that we discover what it is that Mickey wanted with Preston. And it wasn't very nice of her. You may recall that I did describe her in my review of volume one, as rather morally ambivalent.
While Rinaldi is taking Kills and Harmony to the forest, we meet two more agents, both with the FBI. Ishikawa and Sizemore are trying to track down the "Genie's" (Genetically Enhanced Individuals) too, and neither they nor their boss are very happy about Rinaldi swooping in and taking off with the subject so efficiently.
Preston has two serious issues: a power which not only promises to terminate his life as soon as he turns 21, but which also forces him to relive the last moments of a murder victim's life if he touches their skin. This works for his brother who's a police officer, but it makes the character's life lousy and like Ella in Ella Enchanted, he most definitely does not want this 'gift'.
Neither does he want to be used by this woman who came into his life apparently for the sole purpose of having him be close by when another person who has this same curse (but a different power) dies. Mickey wants him to be able to experience the girl's last moments so he can describe what happens to her. Why does she die when she turns twenty one? What exactly happens? In this volume, we find out part of the answer.
I loved this story for its intelligence. The artwork is really good, the whole idea is nicely put together and well-executed, and the story doesn't stop to let you catch your breath. Overall, I rate this as a very worthy read and a really good story as part of this complete series! It's nice to see a comic book that's not just remarkable art, but which also sports a good story along with those pictures.