Writer: Glenn Møane
Artist: Tirso Llaneta
Publisher: Source Point Press
WHAT IS IT?
This grisly crime thriller about murder and retribution is chock-full of violence and driven by anti-heroes.
Almost Shakespearean in how it combines human nature with escalating violence, this comic also has notes of Pulp Fiction, Fargo (the movie), and A Simple Plan.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Julia, a high school student, was murdered after a school dance, and the police still haven't caught her killer. Her father, however, is certain that Sean, her boyfriend, is to blame. So, taking justice into his own hands, he, his brother, and a friend kidnap Sean and try to pry a confession out of him.
As Sean maintains his innocence, his captors, who are new to the whole torture thing, grow increasingly frustrated. Their frustration, compounded by their certainty, morphs into desperation that grows grimmer by the hour. Even when they finally throw in the towel and seek help, the help they get isn't what they were hoping for.
This comic is all about being raw and feeling real. Llaneta's photo-realistic style drives this home.
There aren't any sound effects on the pages (although there are visual cues that indicate movement and impact, e.g., for punches). This heightens the realistic atmosphere, sort of like when action scenes in movies opt not to play music, letting the dull thuds and sharp pops of violence stand on their own.
Møane keeps the plot focused and well-paced. Reveals and twists come at just the right times to heighten the stakes and keep the reader off balance.
None of the characters are particularly likable or sympathetic, but they aren't loathsome either. It's not an easy balance to strike, but I think it's pulled off well.
Møane spins a decentralized yarn with no true main character — at least not that's a person. It's more about uncovering the events of the past and watching as things are resolved, for better or worse. It's almost like the plot is the protagonist instead of the reprobate characters.
Some parts of the story are told through flashbacks, and Llaneta, Lobo, and Thompson keep the timelines clear by using wavy borders and dimmer, less saturated palettes to indicate events that have already happened.
This comic is extremely regular. There are two splash pages in each issue, each in the same spot. In addition, very nearly every scene takes place either without a border or inside a rectangular frame. This lets the few exceptions have an out-sized, almost physical impact on the reader.
I was genuinely shocked multiple times by the twists, revelations, and jaw-dropping behavior. It was gripping and engrossing: this is a well executed thriller.
In the end, everything is tied together in one satisfying package.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
It's not a strike against it, but this title doesn't work for young audiences. It's for mature readers.
There are a couple word order errors that don't seem intentional. You can still get the meaning, but it can take you out of the moment.
This could just be on the digital edition I read, but the skin coloring feels off. I noticed it the most in the first issue, where each of the main characters are a plasticy, lustrous orange-peach with little to no variance between them.
It's a wild ride, but there isn't much more besides that. If crappy people doing awful things to each other is a turn off, look elsewhere.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's intense: Sean gets smashed in the gut with a baseball bat on the second page. And that's one of the least intense things that happens by the end of it all.
This comic dives deep into the marrow of a bad situation that only gets worse as each act of depravity demands and justifies another. If you're stimulated by the dark side of humanity, then this 3-issue miniseries is sure to get your antennae buzzing.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Partners by Glenn Møane, Elias Martins, and Ed Gorman
Redlands by Jordie Bellaire, Vanesa R. Del Rey, and Clayton Cowles
Red Winter by Michael Gordon, Francisco Munoz, Roland Kalnins, and Nikki Sherman
If you like the art:
The Glory by Glenn Møane, Tirso Llaneta, Monte Thompson, and Sean Rinehart
Kino by Alex Paknadel, Diego Galindo, Valentina Pinto, Jim Campbell, and Jasmine Amiri
Kill Or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker, Elizabeth Breitweiser, and Sean Phillips
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Glenn Møane – Writer
Outlander: Glenn lives in Scandinavia
Glenn has written a number of comics and was the editor for an anthology of comics
Tirso Llaneta – Artist
Outlander: Tirso lives in the Philippines
Professionally, Tirso creates art for Rittenhouse, a trading card company
Monte Thompson – Colorist
Monte used to (and still might) live in Utah
Sean Rinehart – Letterer
Outlander: Sean lives in Switzerland
Multitalented: Sean is also an illustrator
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Issue #1 comes out July 31
Issue #2 comes out August 28
Issue #3 comes out September 25
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Glenn Møane’s characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Glenn Møane’s or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED