Jazz Maynard Volume 2: The Iceland Trilogy

Jazz Maynard Volume 2: The Iceland Trilogy
Jazz Maynard Voulme 2 The Iceland Trilogy review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Lion Forge - 978-1-94236-782-6
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2018
  • UPC: 9781942367826
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Crime, European

Jazz Maynard is an astonishingly talented cornet player whose music speaks to the heart, and is trying to put his parallel career as a gun for hire behind him. As seen in The Barcelona Trilogy, the slate has been wiped clean, and he may have the new life he wants, but the old inevitably comes calling.

Raule (Raúl Anisa Arsís) finished the previous volume by jailing Barcelona’s crimelord Judas, but his part in activities isn’t over, and he retains an influence even behind bars, plus there are some very influential people keen to acquire his incriminating papers. Others think they can control the crime in Barcelona, and by the end of the second chapter Jazz has been sucked back in to the life he wanted to quit.

Last time out Roger (Ibañez) stylised the cast to a great degree, which was very distracting. That’s been greatly pulled back here, making for more consistent and polished art that transmits the mood and action without attention being drawn for the wrong reasons. Roger is very precise when it comes to the straight lines of buildings and interiors, which provides an interesting contrast to his looser people populating them, and his cinematic views have something of Joe Kubert about them in places. His preference is still for entire pages coloured in variations of the single shade, which creates an atmosphere, yet can also look dull, but this time there’s the novelty of items highlighted by use of a different colour.

Iceland is the location for much of the book because it becomes advisable for Jazz to leave Barcelona for a while, and while there Raule drops in some of Jazz’s New York backstory from his younger days. It’s effective window dressing to the main story of Jazz commissioned to acquire something mixed in with a resurgence in Viking nationalism.

There were considerable reservations about the first Jazz Maynard volume, which just didn’t ring true in too many places, and was further diminished by distracting art. The Iceland Trilogy rectifies almost every problem for a great improvement and a very readable crime thriller. Raule pulls the threads really tight, there’s a purpose for everything, even though it may not seem that way at first, and the slight mystical intrusions provide a nice finishing touch.

One further Jazz Maynard volume has been issued in Europe, and an English translation would be welcome.