Book review

100 Bullets: A Foregone Tomorrow
Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso
DC Comics / Vertigo / Titan Books

100 Bullets: A Foregone TomorrowMarvel may currently have the monopoly on cool when it comes to comics on the big screen - they may even have the edge when it comes down to fan favourites - but DC, or Vertigo to be more exact, has it all when the conversation drifts to adult-oriented comics.
    With the Vertigo imprint (lovingly cared for in the UK by Titan) the graphic novel has never been healthier, delivering a diverse range of stories, characters and wanton celebration of the genre that never really veers far from grade A prime beef.
    The Sandman has done a lot for the company, but loitering beneath that impeccable umbrella are a myriad of titles that more than holds their own: Swamp Thing, Preacher, The Invisibles and Hellblazer to name but a few.

Enter 100 Bullets. Not new in the most critical sense of the word, but definitely a new player on the block. With its McBain street savvy and subversive X-Files characterisations, 100 Bullets delivers a barage of non-stop thrills.
    Drifting from border smuggling in Mexico to the U.S. administration, Azzarello and Risso have carved out a niche for themselves as the forerunners in graphic crime fiction, and with a nod of the head to one of the greatest crime writers of our time (Mickey Spillane) I think this series could run and run.

100 Bullets: A Foregone Tomorrow is the fourth novel in the series. For those who haven't been paying attention, the lynchpin of the tale is one Agent Graves, who appears sporadically to offer his 'clients' the opportunity of a lifetime: a briefcase containing the proof, the gun, and the carte blanche immunity to exact revenge on a person who's done them irrevocable wrong.
    Graves has a plan: To reform the group called the Minutemen. His previous employers at the Trust (a dark organisation of America's most powerful families) have other plans - namely Graves' death. Here, in A Foregone Tomorrow, we see multiple fragments of previous stories come together in such a way that doesn't exclude the new reader. Consequently, this is as good a point to join the adventure as any.
    With each of the stories moving along at a fair speed, the writer and artist have done a great job by seamlessly blending script and graphics into to a blur, keeping the plot simple enough to follow without repeated backtracking.
    When quality work like this is supported by a host of characters who are quite capable of running their own game, you know you're on to a winner. Move over Sin City.

:: Sion Smith

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