Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Writer: Ron Bryce Art: Jay Peteranetz Publisher: Squirt Gun Studios
This review only covers the a single issue, which sets up the story for the rest of the series. Because of this, we don't have insight into a full story arc, so this review might look a little different than my other reviews of entire volumes of comics.
WHAT IS IT?
A gritty, 1940s-era noir tale of mystery and revenge.
It's like L.A. Confidential meets Payback or John Wick meets Chinatown.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Presumably, Broderick was a thorn in someone's side. A big someone. A powerful someone. Someone who wanted him dead.
But when the plan to put Broderick in the ground doesn't pan out, he decides to get revenge on the guy who tried to take him out. Unfortunately, Broderick's health isn't so good. Like, the kind of "Don't buy any green bananas" not good. But that's not going to stop him from getting his revenge. And anyone standing in his way better be worried, because a dying man doesn't have much to lose.
Love the concept and the noir exploration -- Bryce nails the tone and genre
The art and color are a treat to the eyes for an indie title like this one, and they really bring the grit of the city and the noir trappings to life
You can tell this creative team really were aligned to a single vision; this is a love letter to the film noir and classic detective stories
Peteranetz goes the extra mile on detailed panels and sound effects, adding so much character into each page without it ever feeling overwrought or out of place
Zollo's colors thoughtfully highlight each location: the beautiful sunrises, the harsh lighting of a hospital, the threatening darkness of an alley
Over 80 people donated via Kickstarter to bring this comic to life
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
I find myself wanting a limited color palette, since that's one of my favorite motifs often used in noir, but that's just my opinion and I can't complain about Zollo's colors here
There were a couple times where the lettering/ease of reading gets sacrificed to the art, but it wasn't an ongoing issue
Some lingo lost me, but I just relied on the context to know what was meant, and liked that it really leaned into the tone
No femme fatale yet, though we're only in the first issue!
There's a jump forward in time that seems like it was 2 days, but it was a little over a year, but with no mention of him being out for a year, and it kind of made me go "Huh?"
The intricate designs of sound effects can get lost or look like they aren't rendered properly on smaller digital devices, like phones, so consider reading a physical copy or on your tablet
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Are you a fan of noir detective stories? Like dark tales of revenge starring a guy with nothing left to lose? You've gotta read Broderick.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
100 Bullets, Vol. 1 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
Sin City by Frank Miller
Parker: The Hunter by Richard Stark & Darwyn Cooke
If you like the art:
Magicians Must Die by De'vo vom Schattenreich & Jay Peteranetz
Ghosted, Vol. 1 by Joshua Williamson, Goran Sudzuka & Miroslav Mrva
Moon Knight, Vol. 1 by Charlie Huston & David Finch
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Ron Bryce – Writer
Tends to write more prose than comic books
Also teaches at a community college in Colorado
Jay Peteranetz – Illustrator & Letterer
Teaches at SCAD in Georgia
Dream Team: Worked together with Ron Bryce on a comic over a decade ago and decided to get back together to work on Broderick
Tony Zollo – Colorist
Multitalented: Also does illustration work
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Ask your local comic book store to order it. I'll also update this review when it becomes available for purchase online.
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