Image. Dec. 2020. 144p. ISBN 9781534318519. $24.99. Rated: Teen+.
Disaffected by the tragic end of his adventures as a Sixties radical and pessimistic about humanity’s long-term survival owing to climate change, Ethan Reckless decides, “If we’re all doomed…if we’re all suffering…then why not try to help people?” After setting up shop inside a rundown movie theater in Los Angeles, he splits his time between assisting anyone with problems they’re unable or unwilling to bring to the authorities, surfing, and gobbling pills in order to ease his troubled mind. When Rainy Livingston, his former lover, reaches out claiming someone stole her share of the loot from a bank robbery, saying she needs the money to begin a new life, Reckless embarks on a quest that finds him prowling truck stops, all-night diners, and shady casinos, and head to head with a powerful drug-smuggling ring. Twists abound and tension mounts as this first installment in a new ongoing series progresses, offering a fantastic introduction to a fascinating protagonist.
VERDICT While obviously inspired by classic characters such as Travis McGee and Jack Reacher, Brubaker and Phillips’s (Cruel Summer) Reckless transcends the creators’ influences in this complex portrait of the heartbroken melancholy of a disillusioned idealist who can’t quite give up on his fellow man.
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