21 Down Volume 5
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Publisher: Warner Bros
21 Down Volume 5 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Volumes five and ten in this series are the only two which don't feature Agent Michelle Rinaldo on the cover. I have no idea why that is. Maybe the cover artist got embarrassed by his obsession with her provocative poses and leggy presence? Maybe not.
We left her and Preston Kills, the "Genie" guy making out in his apartment. This comic kicks off in the same place, but their swelling passion is interrupted by loud knocks on the door which initially are indistinguishable from gunshots. That's worth keeping in mind if you write comics! It turns out that it's not gunfire, but something just as disturbing to Preston: it's his brother Rob reporting to him about their aborted capture of the serial killer. The serial killer who spoke a few strange words and then took lead to the head. Rob obviously wants Preston to press the flesh once again, and see if they can figure out if there's more to learn about these killings.
While Mickey is taking a shower (yes, they were evidently going to have sex and be all stinky and sweaty before they began!), Preston sneaks out with Rob without telling Mickey where he's going, but once again telling Rob that this will be the last time he does this for him - like really the very, very last time this time.
Agents Ishikawa and Sizemore choose to arrive at Preston's apartment right after Mickey gets out of the shower, but she rolls right over them, literally, and arrives at the precinct just in time to see Preston and Ron leave for Rockland psychiatric institution. This is the clue which Preston got when he pressed the flesh. What he doesn't expect, however, is that Rob will lose control over himself - and especially over his gun, as soon as they set foot inside the building.
For me this was the first faux pas in the entire series so far. We have a cop entering a building and seeing dead bodies, and yet he fails to immediately turn around and call for back-up. This makes Rob look completely stupid and incompetent to boot. It also makes him seem callous since he has his kid brother with him who is not police and is unarmed. He never once considers his kid brother's safety.
That said I still recommend this series for the consistent plotting and art work, and for a great story overall.