100 Bullets #49
Quick Rating: Good
Title: In Stinked Conclusion
A band of poachers meet their fate.
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Eduardo Risso
Colors: Patricia Mulvihill
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Will Dennis
Cover Art: Dave Johnson
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
People who read my reviews regularly know that I haven’t been a big fan of Azzarello and Risso’s run on Batman. This book proves that it’s not their style that I don’t like, it’s their style applied to that specific title, because with 100 Bullets they provide a smart crime drama that works on levels that their work on Batman just doesn’t.
This issue concludes the “In Stinked” storyline, about particularly cruel group of poachers having fun with some big jungle cats in their supposed care. Azzarello wisely avoids the temptation to turn the story into any sort of political statement and instead serves up a simple story of betrayal and revenge. While this is the last issue of a story arc, it’s fairly simple to jump in and understand who the players are, who wants to kill who, and who we’re supposed to be rooting for in the end.
Eduardo Risso’s artwork is perfect for this book. If you put an issue of 100 Bullets next to an issue of his Batman, it’s clear that he uses a different style for each title – not drastically different, mind you, but noticeably different. It’s good that an artist is capable of stretching themselves, but Risso is far stronger doing his own thing than he is when he tries to emulate classic Batman artists. Along with good colors by Patricia Mulvihill, they put together a great visual package that compliments the hardcore, angry world that Azzarello has created for this title.
Not being a regular reader of this book, it’s hard to say whether this story arc has advanced the overall plot of the title – looking at the elements I have seen, it doesn’t really appear as though it has. This is not a criticism, mind you, merely a statement of fact – every book deserves the chance to take a little time off from the main storyline and tell sidebars now and then. Next month will be the 50th issue of 100 Bullets – I don’t know if anything big is planned, but this issue has got me interested enough that I may just look into that anniversary issue as well, and any comic book that makes you want to read the next one in the series is a comic book that has done its job.