Written by Jeff Cahn for Benaroya Publishing, Red Spike is the story of a military experiment gone terribly wrong. Mixing governmental espionage with super-hero comics, Cahn taps into the fantasies of every young boy. Greg Dean and Matt Cutler are two of the U.S. military’s strongest weapons. As members of the super-secret Black Ops project “Red Spike”, Dean and Cutler are set to be altered to perform at the highest of human ability. But when Dean’s procedure fails, resulting in his escape from the project, the military sends the only candidate capable of bringing him back: Cutler.

Issue #4 of Red Spike brings us deeper into the pasts of Dean and Cutler, showing us how the two promising cadets progressed from training to test subjects, providing a little more insight into their tenuous friendship, and also planting the seeds of distrust that Dean harbors for the project leader, General Moyer. In the present time, Cutler catches up with Dean at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and asks him to return to Red Spike.

Cover art for Image Comic's Red Spike #4Keeping in-line with previous issues, the art in Red Spike #4 was split between Salvador Navarro and Ifansyah Noor. The art is shared in a logical way, with Navarro illustrating present day events and Noor illustrating flashbacks. Both artistic styles work well with the story: Navarro’s near-realism helps the reader to realize that his panels are current events while Noor’s stylized art highlights events that take place in the past, similar to the way a movie will show a flashback scene in vignette.

I will say, however, that this book’s gem is cover artist Mark Texeira. If you are unfamiliar with Texeira, he has done art for Wolverine, Jonah Hex, and Vampirella. Texeria’s style exemplifies grim and gritty, making it the perfect vehicle to showcase the theme of the book.

Red Spike #4 once again ends on a cliffhanger, but with the way the story has been progressing, it really leaves the reader wanting more. Each issue has been paced really well, and the most recent is no exception. While the main draw of the books is the super-powered main characters, it’s also driven by character drama. I’m exteremly interested in seeing what Cahn and the artists have in store for the future of Red Spike.

Red Spike #4 goes on sale Wednesday, August 10, 2011 from Image Comics.