100 Bullets #55 Review


Reviewer: Tim Byrne
Story Title: Wylie Runs the Voodoo Down (Pt 5)

Written by: Brian Azzarello
Penciled by: Eduardo Risso
Inked by: N/A
Colored by: Patricia Mulvihill
Lettered by: Clerm Robins
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: DC Comics > Vertigo

First off, let me separately compliment Dave Johnson on a great, striking cover.

The story of Wylie’s transformation continues, in Part 5 of this extended arc. To very briefly recap, Wylie and Gabe are in all sorts of trouble with Wylie’s former friends, while the relationships between Dizzy, Shepherd and Graves are explored with pregnant dialogue and loaded comments.

After the (somewhat confusing) leaps backwards and forwards in time from the first few parts, this issue features jarring changes in scene, from Wylie and Gabe, to Dizzy and Graves and back to Shepherd.

Azzarello toys with the technique (as used by Alan Moore frequently) of having the closing dialogue in a scene serve as a bridge to comment on the next scene. It works in a subtle way, although mainly on the second read.

This issue really serves to build for what I assume will be the concluding issue of the arc next month. In fact, there are those who argue that the whole series to date serves in many ways as an achingly drawn-out build-up. That’s true to an extent, but with such compelling characters, this is truly a series that has sucked this reviewer in.

This issue has a poignant conclusion, although I would have preferred that the character in question had been built-up for a longer period, which would have given the conclusion a hell of a lot more resonance.

As for the art, what can you say? Eduardo Risso continues to excel in visualising Azzarello’s dark, grimy worlds, populated by hard men and femme fatales.

I certainly recommend this issue, but don’t even dream of jumping into this series at this point – get the trades.