glaurung_quena: Steven Grant's Whisper (whisper)
[personal profile] glaurung_quena posting in [community profile] scans_daily
After much delay due to illness and suck here's the next installment of Whisper. Because RL continues to suck, rather than post one issue at a time, I'll be posting complete storylines instead, so if I have to take another long break it won't be in the middle of things.

So, here is the conclusion to "Datapanik in the year zero":



Issue 2 opens with Eckart and Cynthia's erotic games being interrupted by a phone call. Cynthia does her best to drag Eckart back to bed, but once duty calls he's not interested in her. "The door locks automatically Cynthia, so all you have to do is let yourself out," he says, and then:




With Eckart out, Cynthia wastes no time in seducing Barrow. Learning that he is a hitman, she says she wants someone killed, and can pay in cash and/or sex. He asks her who she wants killed, and she replies "Paul Eckart." That's Cynthia for you: she gets close to everyone she wants dead, and wants everyone close to her killed.

Meanwhile Kirk finds Alex in her apartment, curled up on her couch in the dark, surrounded by the remnants of a six pack. "What the hell's the matter with you, I've never seen you like this" he asks, and grabs her arm. She hits him ("Don't touch me!") and causes a nosebleed. Then:




Alex and Kirk go out walking. They're being watched by spooks with eavesdropping equipment. Kirk explains how he decided to create "Squadron 49" in order to out secrets that the American people deserved to know, without endangering himself. His philosophy is that government secrecy is not about protecting secrets from the Russians or any other real enemies, but about the holders of secrets (who are the ones who actually run things behind the scenes, he says) keeping those secrets from the American people. That's no way to run a democracy, he says, and so he decided to start leaking secrets to the media.

In the middle of this exposition, Alex (who despite the art implying otherwise, evidently still has her costume on under her coat) disables the surveillance van that was following them. Kirk explains that he knew about her before they met, thanks to reading her file on Eckart's computers. Alex is confused, because she knows that she had her file erased. Alex is not pleased to learn that their relationship was based on a lie. Promising to explain everything, Kirk shows her his secret wikileaks Squadron 49 HQ in the Chrysler building.




Kirk is shocked. "Alex? You're working for them?" Alex hands Eckart something and says "your tracker, Eckart. Don't ever call me again. You should have played straight with me, Kirk," and leaves.

Meanwhile, Barrow tells Cynthia that he won't kill Eckart for her -- it's bad form to kill one's own clients. "Of course, when he's no longer a client..." And with that he heads out to do Eckart's bidding.








Having evaded surveillance, Alex takes a cab to her stepfather's penthouse, and:





Alex's voiceover continues, "Let me tell you about death. Death doesn't mean anything to me anymore." This over Sasha taking a nap in the top half of the page, while in the bottom half, Eckart interrogates Kirk: "the only hope you have of coming out of this in one piece..."




On the last page, Alex's voiceover concludes, "and now only the costume remains." And it's just a splash of the top of the Chrysler building from a long way off, with tiny figures of of Barrow shooting ("BANG") and Alex falling. To be continued...


The next issue issue opens with two pages of Kirk being interrogated by Eckart about his motivations. Kirk wanted to bring about "real freedom." "We've got freedom," Eckart objects. "*You* do anyway," Kirk replies, "You're free to spy on American citizens, and loot them, and coerce them. You free to kill them too?" Eckart replies, "Yeah, they let me do that sometimes. You want to change something, you're supposed to vote on it." Kirk objects that America is hardly a democracy, given the prepackaged nature of political candidates, and the existence of America's nuclear arsenal. He asks how Eckart got Alex to turn him in. "You should have played straight with her about this Squadron scam. All I did was tell her the truth. She couldn't wait to help me get you. Or did you think it was OK for *you* to have secrets?"

Shades of Julian Assange, anyone? Anyway, their conversation is interrupted by a gunshot, and then Alex swings into the room.












Eckart and Barrow start shooting the elevator cables. Alex and Kirk get out of the elevator just in time, though. As Eckart searches through the wreckage of the elevator on the ground floor, and is frustrated to not find any bodies, the NYPD shows up and arrests him. Meanwhile...




Eckart didn't stay in custody for long. Back at Eckart's apartment, Barrow returns to pick up his stuff and finds Cynthia. Cynthia is obsessed to know if he's killed Alex. Eckart returns and says no, he didn't. He tells Barrow to forget about the hit on Alex: "I'll see you get your commission." Barrow is angry: "At the cost of my reputation, right? You hired me for this job, and I'll finish it." Barrow learns the location of Jiro's penthouse and leaves. And now we learn more about Eckart's psyche that we really wanted to know:










The last few pages of the issue finally give us the context of the depressed monologue about how everybody Alex loves has died: in a slow montage of panels, we see empty pill bottles in the bathroom, a tape recorder playing back the monologue, and Alex OD'ing on sleeping pills on the floor. Sasha comes to the rescue and nuzzles her back to conciousness. She manages to dial Lesa's number and mumble a plea for help, and the issue ends.

Next time: is Alex dead, or did Lesa come in time to save her? Also, Eckart finally gets his comeuppance, and Kirk's atomic bomb gets put to good use. Same ninja-time, same ninja-channel.

Date: 2011-03-14 04:19 am (UTC)
aaron_bourque: default (Default)
From: [personal profile] aaron_bourque
Parts of this looks like Norm Breyfogle.

Date: 2011-03-14 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Boy oh boy oh boy, doesn't Whisper have fun.

Date: 2011-03-14 11:30 pm (UTC)
kenn_el: Northstar_Hmm (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenn_el
I loved this series when it first came out! Thanks for reminding me!

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