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Blood in the Gutters: Crime Comics for November 2nd, 2011
This week in your local comics shop: Gary Phillips rinses your cash, Blair Butler attacks your fight comics, Howard Chaykin warms up to the cold war, and Andy Diggle takes the western to South America.
The Rinse #3—Boom! Studios has slowly but surely cranking up the dial on their production of quality comics, putting them onto newer and more interesting shelves than licensed books, like their Disney kids’ line. The Rinse focuses on money laundering, which seems to go all too often ignored in crime fiction, which is kinda weird when you think about it. It’s also written by that big cuddly bear, Gary Phillips, among whose many stellar works is included one of my favorite crime comics of all time, the 2005 Vertigo mini, Angeltown. You may have to hassle your local comics shop to get The Rinse since it’s not the biggest book on the stands, but it will be well worth it.
Heart #1—The fights have always been intertwined with crime, both in fiction and non. These days, boxing has largely been supplanted by mixed martial arts in the public eye, but crime fans remain big fight fans. This book doesn’t seem to promise a whole lot of crime, but given this shared history between the two disciplines, we can assume there will be at least some shady dealings going on in this story of a young MMA fighter working his way up the ranks. This book has already had a good deal of pre-release fanfare since it’s being written by Attack of the Show’s Blair Butler, which may be of interest to some of you out there. The art duties are by relative newcomer, Kevin Mellon, who’s got some chops for sure, which you can also see in his debut book for Arcana from back in ’07, Gearhead. Heart should definitely be worth a look, if nothing else.
Avengers 1959 #3 (of 5)—I go back and forth constantly on how I feel about Howard Chaykin’s work, but his output for Marvel over the last few years has been good more often than not. This mini, spinning off a New Avengers storyline from earlier in the year, has been a solid cold-war espionage story, even if it’s not quite as inspired as the original Bendis-scripted source material. Nick Fury is his reliable soldier self, and it’s nice seeing Kraven and Sabretooth in a time before their characters were established. Chaykin’s art you’ll either love or hate or, if you’re me, remain on the fence about.
Six Guns #1 (of 5)—As I believe I’ve said before, a good western is at its heart a good crime story, and a book like this promises to make that clear by blending the genres even further. The Two-Gun Kid and other characters from Marvel’s old stable of westerns make updated appearances in this book, where the Tarantula is being hunted down by Tex Dawson way down in South America. To be honest, the premise would have me a bit worried, but it is in the capable hands of writer Andy Diggle, who wrote one of my favorite Vertigo series of the last ten years, The Losers. Joining him is David Gianfelice, whose art very well held up Diggle’s script on this year’s mini Daredevil: Reborn. Given that creative team, this book bears some definite promise.