Sunday, April 20, 2014

100 Bullets: Brother Lono


I stopped reading 100 Bullets sometime around issue #50....It was one of those complex books that was just too much for me to keep up with in floppy format. I have a huge backlog of comics, so reading an issue every few months was not conducive to keeping up with such a sprawling cast of characters and such a fiendishly twisting narrative. I've always meant to give the entire series another chance, but I just can't bring myself to either dig out all of my scattered back issues or buy a whole set of twelve or thirteen trades. Maybe some day, if DC ever does a nice giant omnibus edition, hint hint.

 But for now, I'll have to content myself with Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's kinda/sorta sequel/follow-up, 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO. Collecting all eight issues of the mini-series of the same name, this is a wonderfully isolated, stand-alone story of blood and revenge among the Mexican drug cartels, with sexy nuns, brutal torture, pickled fetuses, and more gore and nastiness than you can shake a stick at. As I said, I never finished the back half of the 100 BULLETS saga, but I remember Lono as a mean piece of work, and Azzarello manages to make this book stand on it's own, with no prior knowledge of the character's previous appearances needed. He makes the necessary connections that older readers will appreciate, but he also makes new readers get a sense of Lono's history without them feeling like they've missed a ton of backstory. It's a fine line to walk, but Azzarello manages it beautifully....I came in basically  a blank slate, and I never felt lost or confused.

 Eduardo Risso's art has never looked better, especially with Patricia Mulvihill's gorgeous colors. I remember 100 BULLETS as being monochromatic and washed-out looking, but that is far from the case here. This is a gorgeous book, and the $17.00 cover price is a steal, especially considering that it can be had for up to 50% off that price online. Crime and Noir fans will eat this up. Highly recommended.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.