Writer: Paul Pope; Art: Paul Pope
Published by DC/Vertigo 2008
Heavy Liquid is an exotic substance that, if handled one way is a powerful explosive, if handled another, an equally powerful narcotic. S and his friends have a quantity and dangerous people want it. The Collector has even more and wants S to find a certain sculptor, so he can hire her to create a masterpiece out of the substance. That she is also an ex-love of S and never wants to see him again is only the beginning of his problems.
I have to admit it took me a couple of chapters to get into this story. A lot of ground work is laid, but the first two chapters are mostly cool people meeting, talking, and sometimes fleeing. Once S takes the job, however, things ratchet up pretty quickly, culminating in a great ending - a revelation that puts everything that comes before it into a new light. Artistically Pope always delivers. Hogarth and Kirby may have laid the foundations for kinetic comics art, but Pope stands at the top in my book. You’d be hard pressed to name someone more innovative.
This is a 2008 reprinting of a 1999 DC/Vertigo release. They reprinted 100% in 2005 and First Second announced a new edition of THB for 2009. This has been put off until Pope is ready to release his new book, Battling Boy. Hopefully soon.