Joseph Fitzgerald is a "button man" - he "buttons up" problems for his big boss. But his last job lead to his and his wife's death - he was given the chance to come back and given 5 minutes with Laura. Now, his goal is to get back to her, taking jobs from people, such as Debbie, searching for her sister in a cult, the Divine Will.
I've only ever really read a couple of other things from Straczynski - Wonder Woman Odyssey and Superman: Earth One - which were decent. So when my coworker gave me this, I figured it would be pretty intricate and at least decent. And that's about what I found to be true. It's a decent story, with a pretty stock male (of course) protagonist moving between heaven and hell.
Joe is a pretty bland, rather chatty guy. The book is LOADED with him talking and narrating and thinking and thinking and chatting about everything. It got a bit old after awhile to be honest. The art is pretty good - you don't HAVE to talk about everything on your mind. Beyond that, he's just kinda boring, your standard "bad guy turned good because of a woman". And yes, he's that guy that always has to save the girl.
Honestly, that's the most aggravating part of this comic - ALL the women are completely incapable of defending themselves or avoid being killed and used by the supernatural. It's so predominant, that I couldn't look past it and get absorbed by the twists and turns of the story, the revelations of this supernatural world. Laura, Debbie, Debbie's sister, even Joe's mom - all are women being used and disposed of, at the mercy of angels and demons, begging for Joe to save them, and it's irritating. Can't we ever create women who don't need a man to save them at every turn?
The story gets a bit convoluted. The initial plot is abandoned when Laura is threatened, because, as we know, women are incapable of saving themselves and must be saved by the hero. I have no clue what the resolution was with James, the Divine Will, and Debbie and her sister. Though I will say that Joe walking through Purgatory is interesting - the best part is when he crosses the river Styx,
The art was interesting - really gritty and abstract, particularly the shift from the living to the world between heaven and hell. Interesting concept - though some of the art gets weird at the end (almost CGI?).
This wasn't a bad comic, to be sure, but really, the fact that none of the women were characters, they were all foils and plot devices to be used for the hero's story, was just obnoxious. If you can overlook that fact and enjoy the supernatural heaven/hell, angels/demons type of story, you'll probably really enjoy this.