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Previously, I admired Hardcase #5 for its nice mix of suspense, intrigue and mystery as the series emphasized its lead character who in turn had to accompany Choice (who herself was under the control of a certain corporation).
Will the high engagement continue? Find out as we take a look back at the Ultraverse comic book Hardcase #6, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by James Hudnall and drawn by Scott Benefiel.
The story begins immediately after the end of issue #5 with Tom Hawke/Hardcase down on the ground. As Choice comes to him, Hardwire (the guy who attacked Hardcase) moves in from behind. As he is about strike her, Hardcase’s soul warns Choice to activate her shield. Hardwire strikes her but got hurt as a result of the protective shield. Even as Hardwire tells her he has not orders to kill her, Choice fires her force beams to hit a structure just behind him then grabs Hardcase to fly away to safety.
As they fly away towards the nearest hospital, Hardcase finds himself in the spiritual realm and encounters Linda.
Meanwhile, Hardwire contacts Sandra Trent by phone. Considering the current situation, Sandra tells him that they will have to get Hardcase later and she has another hit job for him…
With regards to storytelling, this comic book is loaded with twists mixed with some intrigue and action. The dialogue is also well crafted. Speaking of intrigue, there are key details and characters revealed here that serve as a solid build-up for the Break-Thru crossover of the Ultraverse of late-1993. If there is anything lacking here, it’s character development which is understandable since there was emphasis on building up not only Break-Thru but also other mysterious aspects of the Ultraverse as a whole.
Scott Benefiel did a fine job with the art. I really like the way he draws facial expressions (especially on Hardcase and Choice) while maintaining pace with the script and making the few action scenes here look pretty dynamic.
Hardcase #6 is another solid comic book to read. What it lacks in character development, it bounced back a lot with build-up, mystery and intrigue. That being said, before reading the Break-Thru crossover comic books, it is important to read this comic book first.
If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Hardcase #6, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $4 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $7.
Overall, Hardcase #6 is recommended.
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