Review: ‘Old Dog’ #3 Another Issue, Another Mission, As Old Dog Gets Better And Better

Declan Shalvey’s Old Dog might have started out just a little slow for my liking but, damn, Shalvey’s not put a foot wrong with this series since then.

The story so far, Jack Lynch is some sort of disgraced spook, after something went badly wrong somewhere, somehow. On his final field mission, there’s an event that leaves him changed and puts him in a coma for eight years.

Anyway, that was then, this is now. The Black Circle group, another set of spooks, have offered Lynch a second chance, a chance to use a rather extensive and deadly set of skills he’s learned over the years. And so, paired with his new handler/partner, who just happens to be his estranged daughter, keeping the spook business in the family, Jake Lynch finds himself an old dog in a new world needing to learn some new tricks.

Or you could just go with the summary Shalvey gives us…


Another issue, another mission for Lynch (Rottweiler) and his daughter (Retriever) who can’t occasionally help by start a conversation with ‘Hey, Da–‘ before catching herself and reverting to call signs. There’s an awful lot of unresolved tension between this pair – although you have to imagine that the teases thus far about why he just wasn’t in her life are just the tip of the iceberg about all the bad things Lynch had been up to in that past life.


Likewise, we’re learning little things about Lynch as things go on, Shalvey drip, drip, dripping things to us – he doesn’t really sleep since he came out of the coma transformed, doesn’t really eat either. But there’s still enough revealed in between the action that keeps me coming back for more.

This issue sees him pulling a mission that’s his choice rather than the Black Circle’s, meeting an old contact, Codename Flower. But, as you’d expect from this series, that’s not a meeting that’s going to go down without a little bit of violence thrown in…


There’s something of the Tim Sale mixed with Matt Wagner about Shalvey’s art in this one, the simplicity and sparseness of the colouring, his natural line, all of it helping this book to look great.

Anyway, although I had a few reservations about the opening issue of this one, I have to say that it’s gotten better and better as it’s gone on.

Shalvey’s building it up and up, setting every issue as a single mission, short, sharp, excellent one-offs whilst establishing the mystery of the back story through tantalising glimpses such as this episode’s conversations about Lynch’s past.

It’s not that Shalvey’s doing anything particularly new with Old Dog, but the manner and style in which he’s doing it is such that you can’t help but be entertained by it all.

Old Dog #3 is out now from Image Comics

Declan Shalvey’s Old Dog might have started out just a little slow for my liking but, damn, Shalvey’s not putCOMICONRead More

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