Previously in Peepland #3
This issue immediately reveals Snyder did not survive the fire as the first panel shows Roxy and Nick looking over his burnt corpse.
They conclude that Snyder, being the paranoid dick that he was, must’ve made a backup of the tape and set out to find it as not only do their lives depend on identifying the killer, but they also need it as evidence to exonerate Aiesha’s son Lorenzo. While their search is at first fruitless – Snyder was not a well -liked person – Roxy eventually figures out that the tape was sent to a colleague of Snyder’s named Rudy.
Rudy not only gives them the tape, but also identifies the killer as being Rob Went, son of Simon Went. This explains why he has such a hard-on for the tape. Figuring that a powerful person like Went would have corrupt police under his payroll, Roxy and Nick agree that the only way to protect themselves is to get the tape out the media, and much to Nick’s chagrin, Roxy just happens to have a client that is a gaffer at WPIX – a local NY channel which televised the New York Yankees when I was a kid. Just adding my little NY lore.
Unfortunately, Simon Went has bounty out on the tape and the gaffer immediately calls to collect it leaving Roxy to forcefully get the tape back, but not before the person on the phone hears her name. Finally, Roxy and Nick regroup at her uncle’s apartment where Christa Faust illustrates the paranoia and ignorance of the mid-’80s, as Nick refuses to shake hands with Roxy’s HIV-positive uncle. As they ponder their diminishing fate they eventually decide that their only option is to try their luck with a local reporter who gave Nick’s band a favorable review.
Meanwhile, we only get cameos of the other characters. Lorenzo, fresh out of jail, is out for a walk, appreciating things free people take for granted, but is immediately brought back to reality as racist white men are going to do racist things.
We get a quick glimpse of Aiesha working and not enjoying it, and later we get a brief scene with her and A.J., who, despite Aiesha’s objections, promises to steal more money for the defense of Lorenzo. The only other character to get runtime is Detective Alvarez, who has Sherry in hiding until he can complete his blackmail to Simon Went. Alvarez is a sleazebag whose only motivation is money, but when his partner, March, overhears him lying to Sherry, he’s forced to include her in his scheme. March, in what at first seems to be a sense of decency, declines to join him in the blackmail, but as we later learn, it’s only because she’s working with a higher authority.
Things come to a head when Alvarez confronts Simon Went, who’s stalling efforts are rewarded as his goons find Sherry. Alvarez shows that he’s not just all talk and is able to shoot his way out of the predicament, with Sherry in tow, but the issue ends with a cliffhanger: a fortuitous rescue turns into a massive betrayal.
Although not a lot of action happens except for the last act, I enjoyed the break from the frenetic pace that the comic is known for, and I preferred how the issue concentrated on just Roxy and Nick’s search for the tape and Alvarez dealings with Simon Went. Hopefully, going forward, now that the characters are somewhat established, each issue can concentrate on a couple of characters instead of cramming them in one. Also, we got more panels with the mysterious black man having the same dream of his mother getting killed in front of him.
Four issues in, I think it’s time this character’s story arc is developed because these brief glimpses are becoming a drag. The art in this issue seemed cleaner and more defined giving it less of that gritty feel of previous issues, and although this storyline screams gritty, I prefer the fresh look. I like the shoutout to my favorite TV station growing up.