erasing clouds

by tony doug wright

Numbers: A Tale of Shades and Angels, John Ira Thomas and Jeremy Smith (Candle Light Press)

This is the time of year when people get office pools together for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Money is wagered and people try to figure out the odds on who will win the title. Will last years champion win again? Will the number one seeds lose in an early game? Can a 'Cinderella' team make it to the championship game? Everyone wants to know the odds because they want to see their teams victorious. In Numbers: A Tale of Shades and Angels the people of Freedom City wager their money on one thing: Who will die in the Shade Pool.

"Numbers hold up bridges and bank accounts", says Eddie Foote, a man who knows the odds on almost everything. He is an arrogant aristocrat and the self-appointed head of a criminal organization in Freedom City known as Numbers. Little is know about Numbers, but everyone knows Eddie has been picked for the Shade Pool.

The Shade Pool is the creation of a crime-fighting vigilante named the Fearsome Shade. Freedom City stands divided on the status of the Shade. Some citizens see the Shade as a hero who gets criminals off of the streets while others view him as bone-crushing psychopath. The city may be divided upon the status of the Shade but many citizens take a chance on the Shade Pool. The Shade picks a name of a local criminal and that person is doomed to an unpleasant death. A five-dollar-wager is placed and people figure out the odds on who will die. Nobody has escaped or survived the Shade…until now.

It seems that Eddie is not prepared for death. He attempts to put the odds in his favor of surviving the Shade by seeking the aid of Angel, a Christian crime-fighting crusader. Angel is caught between his friendship with the Shade and his commitment to protecting Eddie.

Numbers is the creative effort of the Zoo Force team of John Ira Thomas and Jeremy Smith. An original plot makes Numbers a fascinating story with an interesting cast of characters. At moments it seems that there are a few too many secondary characters and there are a few panels where the reader could have trouble following the flow of text. But these are just some minor issues with Numbers. Once again, Candle Light Press' John Ira Thomas and Jeremy Smith amaze readers with their cutting-edge artwork and original writing.

Issue 22, April2004

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