Officer Downe Comic and Movie – Dual Review
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Chris Burnham
Colors by Marc Letzmann
Lettering by Rus Wooton
Published by Image Comics
Terrence Downe was a cop in heart, soul and bones until the day he wasn’t. A freak accident killed him on duty. However, the accident left his body in a perfect condition to be turned into a secret weapon. A cop that cannot be killed. How they went about it is a bit of a less ethical issue. But it works. The streets of Los Angeles are littered with murderous scum and it seems that only a cop who cannot be killed is making a difference. When he meets up with his biggest foe Zen Master Flash however, things seem to be going a little bit south for Officer Downe.
I want to first and foremost stress that this is an adult comic and movie so please don’t pass them to your younger kids!
The comic is a wild ride from the first panel to the last. It makes no sense, and all the sense, all at once. It is mind-blowing, especially when paired with the movie as reviewed below. The comic comes with a huge surplus of bonus material. The actual film script is included, a scrap book of set pictures, biographies of Joe Casey and Chris Burham themselves and a list of other comics written by them. Finally, there is also a segment From Print to Screen explaining the ideas behind the movie. It is extensive and very interesting.
The art of the comic is very graphic and explicit at times. The images are loaded with small details and great one panel pages. The colors are very vibrant and really make the comic. It even pays attention to the details of all the bodies that are strewn around and shows their different demises in every image. I was impressed.
Starring: Kim Coates, Sona Eyambe, Tyler Ross, Tracy Vilar, Sam Witwer
Directed by: Shawn Crahan
Released in 2016 by Magnet Releasing and Diamond Film
The basic story is taken over almost word for word, and image per image from the comic book. Even the camera angles reflect some panel images which is very remarkable. The story adds on changes, the comic mainly focused on Zen Master Flash as the main villain but in the movie we are also introduced to a second villain Mother Supreme, but it only enhances the end product of the film.
Kim Coates as Officer Downe himself was a great choice, he really reflects the character and personality of the Officer we met in the Comic. Gable or Rookie played by Tyler Ross has a much more prominent part in the movie as a character who actually cares about Officer Downe and it grants him a vulnerability and when he loses his rank of rookie you can tell his care will make him a more compassionate cop for it.
They went and added an effect on Zen Master Flash where he seems to speak in one language but is dubbed in another. I won’t say more about it. Only that I recall having seen this before in Police Academy by the wonderful Michael Winslow. If you have seen it you will recognize it but it works!
Also how the Fortune 500 people turned out was pretty interesting as well. The small role held by Sam Witwer as Burham as the man who was part of the group who cracked the Resurrection Equation was pivotal in both character and scenes.
Granted both the comic and the movie are an acquired taste, and at times a really hard one to acquire for some people I am sure. But if you see it as I saw it by first reading the comic and drawing the parallels of both it becomes a very enjoyable experience. I am just blown away at how much effort was put into recreating iconic images of the comic onto the screen.
I recommend getting both the comic and the movie and see it for yourselves, you will not regret it. I didn’t for a second!
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