100 Bullets Vol. 8: The Hard Way

 
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Product Description

100 BULLETS VOL 8: THE HARD WAY continues to unravel the tangled mystery of the Trust as Wylie Times becomes the latest Minuteman to be reactivated by the Trusts onetime enforcer, Agent Graves. But which side will he choose? And what kind of game is Mr. Shepherd playing between the two? Includes an introduction by crime novelist Jason Starr (Twisted City, Tough Luck, Hard Feelings).

Suppose that you're given incontrovertible proof that you've been wronged by someone--seriously, grievously wronged. And then suppose that you're also given a handgun, a hundred bullets, and complete assurance that however you choose to use this information--and this gun--you won't be held accountable, won't go to jail, won't pay any price for exacting revenge.

Throw in a secret society, some low-life gamblers, a couple gangland executions, and a healthy dose of Thai boxing, Gracie jujitsu, and other assorted violence (not to mention sex) and you've got one of DC's most compelling comic-book series to come along in years. This trade paperback collects issues 6 through 14 of Vertigo's 100 Bullets series, so you might want to check out the first collection, First Shot, Last Call, if you haven't already. Fans will be happy to find that Split Second Chance clears up some of the questions surrounding the mysterious Agent Graves and the equally enigmatic Minutemen. But as one of the Trust's pawns later learns, "Asking questions is free... but the answers--they can cost you your life." --Paul Hughes

Customer Reviews:

  • Graphic SF Reader
    Graves is hovering around, hoping to foment some problems in the ranks of the trust. While that is going on, we get the back story of several of the pivotal, or presumably pivotal characters that Graves is gathering and influencing with his mystery briefcases and past ties. This includes minutemen both new and old.


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  • One of the finest Crime books around!
    100 Bullets is an amazing book. Sure it is a comic book but Azarello deserves to be mentioned with some of the finest crime novelists with this work. His name should be right next to Ellroy, Hammet and the others. Azarello and Risso also are some of the great teams working in comics today. I have heard them compared to to Lee and Kirby. I agree. The book just pulls you in with it's amazing characters. And the way Risso details the scene is just perfect. 100 Bullets is one of the best comics around. and this trade gets you in on the ground floor for all the wonderful stories yet to come. 100 Bullets is a good solid read. If your a fan of comic books, pick it up it's one of the best books on the market. If you have never read a comic, pick it up it's also one of the best crime stories on the market....more info
  • Graphic SF Reader
    Things are beginning to come together, after several incidents earlier begin to make more sense. No-one can accuse the overarching storyline here of being told at a breakneck pace, that is for sure. This, you presume, is deliberate, so each one of these can happily be told as a stand alone, while still developing the main thread.


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  • My favorite so far
    I've only read the first three, but this is by far my favorite. The first volume is an introduction to the concept, the third is a sort of detour from the main storyline (or maybe not, can't be sure) but the second one is great. It's artwork is nice, the characters are wonderful, and the storyline seemed to be building itself up....more info
  • Dark noir genius
    A beautifully dark and gritty journey. The plot and dialog are comic book film noir at its finest. The artwork is muscular, where even the simple act of stubbing out a cigarette or throwing a wadded paper on the street is rendered in a way that evokes action and violence. Not for kids....more info
  • A tremendous premise, solid plotting, and nice artwork
    There are three stories in First Shot, Last Call, connected by the presence of the mysterious Agent Graves. Graves approaches someone to whom some injustice has been committed and gives them a briefcase. The briefcase contains a photo of whomever committed the injustice, proof that they did it, information as to their whereabouts, a gun -- and one hundred completely untraceable bullets. No law enforcement agency can touch the owner of that gun and those bullets -- from that moment on, they are above the law, free to determine how they will use the power and information they have been given.

    The premise is unbelievably cool, and Brian Azzarello does not disappoint in exploring it. His plotting is very strong, with layers of intrigue, plotting and betrayal. You don't find out a lot about Agent Graves, or the organization that he works for, in this book, but there are hints of subplots that connect the tales of the different recipients of the gun.

    The characters in 100 Bullets are all morally conflicted -- even the ones you like have likely done something unpleasant in their lives. They're pretty well-drawn for appearing in only a few issues, and the dialogue is good as well -- I can't tell you how realistic it sounds, because there's a lot of slang and accents that I am frankly unfamiliar with, but nothing sounds ridiculous, and the dialogue carries off the tension of the confrontations between would-be avengers and potential victims well.

    The art is well done. Dave Johnson's covers are gorgeous, and Eduardo Risso has a good sense of storytelling. Some of his perspectives seem a bit warped to me, but that's more a personal thing, I think. I should mention Grant Goleash's coloring -- he does a lot with monotone panels, shadows, and lighting to set the tone of the book. This is definitely a comic noir, one with a great premise and solid writing, so if that's your cup of tea, check this out....more info

  • Excellent Graphic Novel Noir
    Even if you're not a big 100 Bullets fan you ought to give this one a spin because it's unlike the rest of the series and crawls into dark noir territory. Murderous Megan is around and the ubiquitous Agent Grave is there, too, but the multi-issue curve follows a cool personality crisis tale that's beautifully designed by Eduardo Risso. There's loads of sex and death here. Highly recommended....more info
  • Superb storytelling and Characterization, Strong emotions, Conspiracies, and some killer Twists
    I've read through Volume 8 without writing a review. I've enjoyed every trade paperback volume, mind you, but last night, reading THE HARD WAY, I was blown away. It's that good!

    For those unfamiliar with the series, the title is the starting point: A man named Graves comes into the life of assorted characters with a briefcase containing a gun, bullets, an insightful and personalized dossier, and carte blanche to the case's receiver to do wht they see fit with the weapon and ammo--with full immunity. No cops. No prosecution. Full out "get away with it" revenge, if they want. The dossier gives the proof to the, "This is the person that done you wrong." The bullets and gun say: "Go kill em. You got the all clear."

    The targets of Mr. Graves particular attention may seem unconnected at first, but as the tale progresses, those lives--of those who live, anyway, through their tale--come to intertwine in with a deepening background story arc of epic proportions.It all starts to weave together.

    Before this volume, we've seen snatches of what is going on behind the scenes, the complex nature of what Mr Graves is involved with. It's a long historical thing with far-reaching consequences. There are powerful and wealthy families, secret vows, enforcers, backstabbings and betrayals, changes in system, and it can be headily confusing at first.

    In THE HARD WAY, we begin with a seemingly unrelated little criminal tale that has a seedy, anxious feel and serves as a wonderful set-up--a prologue, if you will, or a tone setter-- for what's to come. One character, who has served as a sort of narrator during the story, advises us that all good stories end in tears. We're about to find that out firsthand.

    The whole conspiracy theory set-up (including the hilarious Snapple theory in the initial bar scene) is a brilliant set-up to the uber-conspiracy theory that is the next, meatier tale. We move into a story that gives us the past and the core of Wylie and his woe (and it's BAAAAAAAAAAAAD GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD stuff). Wylie's been in previous volumes.

    Set in New Orleans for a good chunk and including some interesting secondary characters (but everything is woven together gorgeously, viciously, movingly, bloodily, tragically), we finally learn the background of the Minutemen and the deeper significance of the important term Croatoan.

    The twists are just too good to even mildly spoil. So, no hints and no more plot info. Just get ready to get your throat clenched and head whiplashed around by a story that just gets darker and wilder and better.

    Man, I'm impressed. Not just by the story. I've been loving the visuals of this all along, and in this one, visuals and story seem to continue that amazing coherence and slickness. It's potent stuff. I'm so glad I have Vol 9 and 10 to read today. :)

    Mir...more info
  • A Great Detective Story.
    The fifth installment in the ongoing crime noir series with a brilliant story from Azzarello and extraordinary art from Risso,comes a six-part story arch following private detective Milo Garret who was seen in hospital in book 5.He is met in hospital by the mysterious man with the brief case only known as Agent Graves,he then tells milo that his 'accident' was no accident, but a message.From whom? he wonders,so milo intends to delve deeper into this case full of clues,and figuer out who set him up and why.
    This features everything you could expect from the series,that is language,violence,sex,nudity,strip clubs,smokes,guns,and bullets.A must-have....more info
  • Only gets better with each passing volume
    Your life has been ruined. Someone has wronged you in a way that can only be described as unimaginable, and revenge is the first thing on your mind, but there's no way you can get away with anything. Then, along comes a mysterious, well manicured man calling himself Agent Graves. He presents to you a briefcase containing information on the person or people who wronged you, along with a gun with one hundred rounds of ammunition that he tells you are completely untraceable and you can do whatever you desire with this info, and this weapon. That is the basic premise of 100 Bullets: the brain child of writer Brian Azzarello (Superman: For Tomorrow, Cage) and artist Eduardo Risso, which bring this gritty, crime fantasy to life. Beginning with a newly released female gangbanger who first receives this offer, and ending with a local bartender receiving the same offer after being unjustly framed years before, 100 Bullets is a pulpy, urban, crime fantasy made believable by Azzarello's sharp writing and Risso's unique art. Like many of Vertigo's other titles, 100 Bullets isn't for everyone, but for those who enjoy a hard edged crime story with a twist, 100 Bullets is for you, and it only gets better with each passing volume....more info
  • The perfect comic book
    Every time I re-read an issue of 100 bullets i get something out of it that I didn't quite get the last time around. This first volume is probably the weakest in the series, but it is necessary reading in order to follow the rest of the excellent story. 100 bullets has visuals, characters and a plot that only get better with each issue. Start by ordering the first two volumes. The first will leave you satisfied, but thinking that the series is over-hyped. The second volume will get it's hooks in you, enough that you will order the next two. If you read three and four, you will read it to the conclusion. Once Azzarello and Risso really get churning, they come up with a comic so good that it might ruin most other comics for you, that's exactly what it did to me....more info
  • Great artwork, Good stories
    100 Bullets is a great concept, one that could work in almost any format, be it TV, film, short story, novella, or comics. The second of the two major stories presented here worked best for me. It was simpler, less cluttered than the first one. 100 Bullets works extremely well as separate episodic storylines, as opposed to a major multi-issue story arc, similar to the more memorable Tales From The Crypt, or Twilight Zones. One aspect of 100 Bullets that really stands out is the incredible, multi-aspect art of Eduardo Risso. Risso's varying views from above, below, behind, and right in front of the action, greatly enhance the movement and ultimate success of these stories. I look forward to reading the next installments....more info
  • Graphic SF Reader
    This is the best trade of 100 bullets I have read, easily. Definitely recommended. More on The Trust, Graves, the younger generation, and some possibles. It is the history between The Trust, and Graves, and who they are, and who the various younger characters that we have been introduced to are, that is the interesting part. Here you learn a lot more about that, and how they relate to each other.


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  • 100 Bullets
    Strong story that was well crafted. It drew me in and kept me reading. The art was interesting, particularly the artist's use of negative images. The story needed some more exposition, but I guess that is what a serial comic is for. I will be reading the next ones....more info
  • 100 BULLETS
    I'M A STUDENT IN VICTORIA MORSE'S CLASS AND THIS IS A REVIEW OF A BOOK SHE BOUGHT FOR THE CLASS. THE TITLE OF THE BOOK IS 100 BULLETS FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL. THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT A DIZZY WHO JUST GETS OUT OF JAIL AND IS GOING TO GET REVENGE FOR MURDER OF HER FAMILY. THIS STORY TAKES PLACE IN THE CITY. THE MAIN CHARICTER OF THE BOOK IS A 23 YEAR OLD GIRL NAMED DIZZY AND HER PROBLEM IS HER FAMILY WAS KILLED BY SOME CROOKED COPS. THE THING I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK IS IT GETS STRAGHT IN TO THE ACTION AND IT SHOWS THE STRUGGLE OF A STRONG GIRL....more info
  • The ultimate 100 bullets book!
    This has got to be the best volume of the infamuos series.It has the seven-part story arch 'wylie runs the voodoo down' and one shot stories Prey for reign and coda smoke.In this volume we finally find out the history of the trust and the minute men,we also get introduce to a new character and minute man Victor.We also finally get to see wylie as a re-awakened minute man and more pieces of the puzzle get put together,once again the 100 bullets team wraps up another masterpiece.This is the best book in the series and one of my all time favourites,the best ongoing series out there....more info
  • Who would YOU use your 100 Bullets on...?
    If you were given a gun and 100 bullets that were completely untraceable, would you use them? What if the man that gave them to you told you that anything you do with them would be completely above the law? Even if you were caught in the act, the Police would just let you go....

    This is the premise behind 100 Bullets. Agent Graves gives people a chance for revenge against someone who did them wrong......but what's in it for him...?

    Hang Up On The Hang Low is the story of "Loop" Hughes; graves gives him the chance to kill his father, who abandoned him as a child. Loop is soon caught up in his estranged Father's criminal lifestyle, and the Father and Son duo soon run afoul of the Mafia.....and the question lingers: Why does Mr. Graves want Loop's Dad dead?

    The story of Loop and his Dad is a compelling one, but it's dragged down by the fact that Author Azarello tells us NOTHING about Graves and his motives. His backstory STILL hasn't been made clear, and the Epilogue relies heavily on knowledge you'd gain from reading the previous issues of the book, or the other trade paperbacks. I read them, but can't remember every little detail. The book needs to be more new-reader friendly. I'll keep reading though- I want to know what the story is with Graves.......more info

  • Amazing! Buy now, you won't be sorry!
    I always figured comic books were either for kids or for adults and took themselves way too seriously. Then one day, I was reading a respectable magazine and found an article about comic books. It was then when I realized that I hadn't ever actually read a comic book. So I went down to my local comic book store and bought a few comic books, or "graphic novels" as it seems comic book junkies prefer to call them. The first couple were boring and stupid, but one of them caught my eye. It was 100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call, and it was quite good, so I returned to the comic book store and purchased a few more. To my surprise, what started out as a simple story about revenge quickly evolved into a hardboiled tale of crime and corruption with beautiful artwork and great writing. I was hooked! This book is absolutely phenomonal. Buy today, you won't regret it....more info
  • Graphic SF Reader
    Better than the first volume, as a little more becomes clear. We start to have an inkling of what Agent Graves is up to, who he is working for, where he comes from, what he wants to get done, and why and how he can come up with the immunity guns and untraceable ammunition, to start with.


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  • Hardcore, film noir type stories (no average comic book!!)
    With a gritty writing style, Brian Azzarello introduces the concept of untraceable bullets and the ability to do whatever you want with them. There are no average comic book stories in this graphic novel--they all deal with adult themes and language. The artwork is also gritty but it works well with these types of crime stories. The hispanic characters were all different with some good traits and bad traits. Now I have to read the 2nd graphic novel!!...more info
  • The greatest chapter of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's crime epic
    After teasing readers for 50 issues, creators Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso finally reveal the origin of the Trust and the Minutemen. From there, the volume tells the story of Minuteman Wylie Times, a man who has lost everything he ever loved and simply doesn't care anymore. When Wylie is reactivated by Agent Graves and remembers his dark, tragic past as a killer, his world begins to fall apart even more than it already has, forcing him into action. Wylie's story is truly heartbreaking, the best yet of all the Minutemen. Although capable of extreme violence, Wylie has a heart of gold and a strong sense of right and wrong. Loyal to his friends and his code, Wylie is a tragic character, unable to forgive himself for one terrible act he committed long ago.

    "The Hard Way" also features a character by the name of Gabe. A short, disfigured jazz trumpeter, Gabe just wants to be treated with a little respect. He provides the story's heart and what happens to him both drives the volume's final act and tears at the reader's heart strings.

    100 Bullets is an original modern crime epic like no other. The series' many conspiracies and unique characterization set it atop the list of Vertigo's current titles. Azzarello's knack for witty dialogue and Risso's inventive artwork make this series an irresistible read, rife with mystery and intrigue. "The Hard Way" is 100 Bullets' strongest storyline and the rest of the series comes just as highly recommended....more info
  • 100 Bullets does it again
    Collecting issues 50 - 58 of 100 Bullets, The Hard Way solves the Wylie Times plot. After given one of the famous guns and briefcases from Agent Graves, Wylie was told to kill Agent Shepherd.

    Additionally, by the end of the book, two of the Minute Men sleeper agents are activated. If you've been following the books, you already know the characters, although you may not know who they are.

    As always, the writing is top notch. The characters are developed in layers and the plot continues to unfold as everything falls into place.

    I'd like to go more in depth into reviewing this, however, it's difficult to explain to someone unfamiliar with the series and those that are familiar with the series aren't going to want the details of the stories from me. They're going to buy the book, regardless of what I say. Because it's that damn good.

    If you're unfamiliar with the series, but are a fan of comics with great stories, this is something you can sink your teeth into, but you'd do best to start from the beginning....more info
  • The perfect comic book
    Every time I re-read an issue of 100 bullets i get something out of it that I didn't quite get the last time around. This first volume is probably the weakest in the series, but it is necessary reading in order to follow the rest of the excellent story. 100 bullets has visuals, characters and a plot that only get better with each issue. Start by ordering the first two volumes. The first will leave you satisfied, but thinking that the series is over-hyped. The second volume will get it's hooks in you, enough that you will order the next two. If you read three and four, you will read it to the conclusion. Once Azzarello and Risso really get churning, they come up with a comic so good that it might ruin most other comics for you, that's exactly what it did to me....more info
  • Loved it!
    I agree with the person who said that the dialogue wasn't that stylised. There were a couple of cornball moments, but the whole story line over all is great and full colour artwork rocks my socks. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested!...more info
  • It's only 51 Bullets not 100.
    This is an okay work; mildly entertaining. The language appears forced and not natural. This doesn't compare to a Gaiman or Moore work....more info
  • a belgian review
    100 bullets will be a classic in comic story telling.When after 100 issues it will be finished,Brian Azzaello will enter the hall of fame of comic-writers ;along with Gaines-Feldstein;Frank Miller;Alan Moore;Brian Michael Bendis.This is too good to be true....more info
  • Not exactly what I thought it would be
    I had this recommended to me and the premise of the story is quite appealing. The execution and the characters were less than appealing though. My first gripe is that I absolutley can't stand the characters. They're all hood rats and there's plenty of "knowumsayin'" in the text bubbles. I can't stand the ghetto, hip-hop speak and that alone made me not to want to read this again. The art is so-so. I've seen better. I found myself rooting for the bad guys so I wouldn't have to read another, "knowumsayin'" or "homey this, homey that" UGGGHHH!...more info
  • Noir at its Best
    If you love film noir than i guarantee you will love this collection. Actually if you love noir you will love every 100 bullets book but especially this one. This is very classical noir in a modern day setting. Brian Azzarrelo is probably the best writer in comics today and one of the best in any medium in my opinion. He writes incredibly complex storys that revolve on the incredibly simple human nature. And with fantastic and witty dialogue. I think this trade shows Brian at his best with snappy dialog and a Chinatown like plot that the casual reader can enjoy but also ties into the big picture of the whole 100 bullets series. They all tie into one another to create an amazingly realized noir world that instead of focusing on the flashy aspects of sex and violence (which 100 bullets has plenty of) but of each individual character caught up in a larger game. Each book focuses on a character, each book is a beautiful piece of a puzzle. Highest Reccommendation Possible....more info
  • Not up to Split Second, but still strong
    100 Bullets: Hang up on the Hang Low (Issues 15-19)
    By Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
    Review by Patrick Meaney

    Hang up on the Hang Low takes 100 Bullets in a new direction, using the basic premise as only a setup, and spending most of its time on the relationship between a father and son. This TPB does not do much to expand the mythology of the book's world, but it tells a strong standalone story.

    The main relationship in this story arc is between Loop and his "Pops." Loop's father had left him before he was born, and, thanks to Agent Graves, Loop gets a chance to find out what his father is like. Their relationship is the core of the story, its essential to the arc that it works. Azzarello once again demonstrates his incredible skill in creating characters. Loop is well defined, and his relationship with his father is developed well. It seems legitimate, and realistic considering they don't know each other very well.

    Once the relationship is set up, Azzarello destroys it. The second half of the arc is extremely well done, with Loop's rage coming through. What could have been a simple tale of revenge becomes an emotional journey, that is fulfilling when it comes to its conclusion.

    The final issue ties a lot of things together. Lono returns, seeking vengeance on Loop's cousin, who assaulted him in Miami, back in Split Second Chance. What was a confusing background subplot comes to the foreground here, and nicely ties everything together, connecting Loop's story to the larger plot. One of Azzarello's greatest skills is his ability to turn silent background plots into major events in later issues. New readers aren't left out of anything, and long time readers get an added bonus.

    Overall, this collection doesn't add too much to the overall story, but it's a great standalone. However, Hang Up doesn't reach the heights of the second book. There's nothing really wrong, but the ghetto story has been done before in the book, and it lacks the potent originality of some previous stories. It's still a great collection, and a thrilling read.

    8 out of 10...more info

  • Prime Crime
    Dizzy Cordova is a gangster serving time in prison. While sheys locked up, her husband and infant son are killed in what is believed to be a vicious drive-by shooting, something that is typical in the neighborhood where the lived. After seven years, Dizzy is paroled and takes a bus home. Only she knows sheys not going home for real because no one is there who really misses her. While on the bus, a man meets her and introduces himself as Agent Graves. He doesnyt mention what heys an agent of. Only a few brief moments pass, then Graves mentions that what happened to Dizzyys husband and son was terrible. He goes on to say that their murderers are still out there, and that theyyre two crooked detectives. Dizzy canyt believe what the old man says. Then, without batting an eye, Graves gives her a briefcase with a semi-automatic and what he promises are 100 rounds of untraceable ammunition. He tells her that she can have vengeance if she wants, and that no one will arrest her for shooting the men that killed her family because the bullets will keep her out of the hands of the law. Dizzy doesnyt believe Graves for a minute, but she canyt figure his angle. Later, at home, Dizzy finds that the old neighborhood is exactly the same except that everything has changed. She follows her brother and sees the hot car ring that heys part of. And the two detectives Graves said murdered her husband and her infant son arrest her. Caught with the pistol on her, Dizzy knows sheys headed right back to prison for violating her parole. Only when the detectives run the pistol and the bullets, they find that they have to let her go. Dizzy canyt believe this, and her brain starts working frantically. If Graves was right about the pistol and the bullets, what else was Graves right about? The answers surprise Dizzy as much as they put her in danger, and her life will change again because of violence and betrayal. Dizzyys tale takes up the first three stories in the graphic novel. The last two stories in the volume belong to Lee Dolan, a down-and-out bartender in a dive. Lee was once a rising and promising restaurant owner. Then one day, kiddie porn was mysteriously found on his computer and the police were notified. During his stay in prison, unable to prove his innocence, Lee loses everything: his wife, his kids, the restaurant, and any hope for a future. That all changes the day a man who identifies himself as Agent Graves walks into the bar. Graves says he knows who set Lee up, and he leaves Lee with a briefcase containing a pistol and 100 rounds of untraceable ammunitionyand a chance for revenge.

    Brian Azzarello is an award-winning comics writer. Besides creating and writing 100 BULLETS, Azzarello has also done scripting chores on HELLBLAZER, STARTLING STORIES: BANNER, SPIDER-MAN, GANGLAND, CAGE, BATMAN, DEATHBLOW and JONNY DOUBLE. Eduardo Risso, listed as the co-creator of 100 BULLETS, has done work on the ALIENS property, BATMAN, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, WEIRD WESTERNTALES, and short pieces in several comics.

    100 BULLETS: FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL is an excellent addition to the crime noir field. Azzarello has a real feel for characters that are bent, twisted, and banged up from having hard lives and bad experiences. No one in the books seems to be truly evil, just as no one seems to be truly good. Dizzy Cordova is a heroine, but sheys also flawed, having to make her way back from the darkness she once embraced and thought was normal in her life. Lee Dolan is also a sympathetic loser figure. Lee had it all, but as his story reveals, he also had a jones for sex and hookers that was either lurking within him or playing itself out on the computer searching for porn sites. The mean streets and the harsh cities that Azzarello plays his stories out against ring as true organisms. His language is of the street, of the poorly educated, a shortsighted, and yet street-smart individuals who are predators and the prey, and quite often turn out to be both. Combined with Rissoys artwork, the graphic novel appears real, like opening a book to a street scene in the seamier side of the city where no one goes after dark. Risso makes the characters unique, just as he makes his city part of the atmosphere of the tension and the action of the story. The mix of the two character-driven stories in this opening opus of what so far has turned out to be four graphic novels is a great choice. Dizzy and Lee are characters that, though flawed and never what a reader will want to be, somehow reach past the barriers of social restraint and make the audience want to take them under their wing at least for the duration of the stories. The stories donyt end happily. Thatys purely for fairy tales. But the stories do end right, probably the only true way they could end and be faithful to the world, the character, and the situations Dizzy and Lee find themselves in.

    The graphic novel is enthusiastically recommended to any fan of noir crime stories, whether in novels, movies or comics, whether of the 1950s or of todayys world. 100 BULLETS: FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL is also recommended for people who have never read comics, or havenyt read them since they were for kids. This collection isnyt meant for kids; they are for the comic-reading adult audience that can appreciate really ygraphicy tales of blood, violence, and heart laced with guilt, fear, and adrenaline....more info

  • 100 Bullets Rocks!!!
    When I first read 100 bullets I thought it was one of the most original concepts that I ever read. There are two stories here where the first gives you the feel of the premise and the next story leans in to grab your total attention. It's great for reading something in a half-hour sit in. Risso's art is always up to par and Azzarello's crime noir scripts are nothing short amazing. They're a dream team and this is a great start for better things to come. Highly recommended to all especially for true believers that could use a little fix of crime noir at it's finest.......more info
  • The next amazing piece in a grand mystery
    First off read the first 100 Bullets trade. It's a great read if your a comic fan or a fan of crime literature. This second trade continues the excellent storytelling of the first trade. It answers some questions, and brings up many more. It appears the creators are setting up a huge,grand mystery. When 100 Bullets is finished I feel it will be as large an epic as Preacher was. The trade ends with a story featuring the return of Dizzy Cordova from the first storyline. And it ends with a killer last panel that will make you want even more. I eagerly await the next trade paperback. Like I said 100 Bullets is for fans of great stories(comics or otherwise)...more info
  • "Countefifth Detective"-4 stars
    In this fifth collection of the truly great "100 Bullets" comic, we are introduced to private eye Milo Garret, a man who recently got out of the hospital after going through the windshield of his car face first. Obivously, he doesn't look too good (he spends the majority of the story with his head in bandages) and is curious how he ended up the way he has. After meeting a man only known as Agent Graves (a constant character in the series)who gives him an opportunity to find out who is responsible for his string of bad luck and the chance to pay them back. But as he's about to find out, the truth of it all may just put him under permanently. The solid writing by Brian Azzarello and the vibrant art of Eduardo Risso continue to amaze me. While you may need to have read the previous volumes of the series to understand several minor plot points, it is still a solid read, with a truly dark, noir-ish ending that will leave you reeling. Recommended....more info
  • Intriguing concept, Pulls you right in...
    The start of this collection was a bit muddled, but once I got used to the art and writing, it became extremely enjoyable. The second story is better than the first, but the overall mystery/conspiracy is something that has me very anxious to read later volumes....more info
  • Finally Lives Up to Its Potential
    I'm not a big fan of Azz and Risso's 100 Bullets series. I think it's a wonderful concept, but their execution, concetrating on this boring Minute Man/Trust conspiricy, is a snoozefest. Until this volume.

    With the thinly veiled Joe Dimaggio/Marliyn Monroe story in this volume, Azz and Risso finally tap the potentional of the concept. Forget the rest of this volume, it, like the rest of the series, is slightly above average conspiricy stuff the occasional character study tossed in. The Dimaggio/Monroe story is a masterpiece and worth the price of admission alone....more info

  • Amazing series
    Truly amazing series for comics lovers... Won't read comics? You are missing out with 100 Bullets....more info
  • A Fistful of Bad Dreams
    100 BULLETS: SPLIT SECOND CHANCE is the second graphic novel from the award-winning monthly 100 BULLETS comic book put out by DC Comics' Vertigo line. Again, series writer Brian Azzarello keeps the mix violent and unpredictable, fusing the cold shadows of the street with the hot fury of betrayal. The book opens up with a two-part story, "Short Con, Long Odds", about Chucky and Pony, two childhood friends who grow up to be gamblers. Then Agent Graves, the unknown man of mystery who always kicks the stories into high gear, shows up carrying a briefcase loaded with a semi-automatic pistol and 100 rounds of untraceable ammunition. He tells Chucky that Pony set him up for a seven-year fall in prison that he should have taken--at the same time that Pony is stealing Chucky's woman. The biggest risk either of Chucky and Pony ever took was being friends with each other, and that's about to change. "Day, Hour, Minute...Man" offers up a quick peek into the mysterious agency that Mr. Graves works for, and shows Mr. Graves coldly dealing out vengeance of his own. "The Right Ear, Left In The Cold" tells the story of Cole Burns, an ice cream man who sells ice cream and stolen cigarettes out of his truck, and who is much more than he appears to be. Mr. Graves gives him a briefcase and the 100 rounds of ammunition, then tells him that Goldy Petrovic is the man responsible for the burning death of Cole's grandmother in the nursing home. Besides wanting vengeance, Cole also has to deal with another ice cream man trying to take his beat. But most of all, Cole Burns is a man on a mission to find himself. "Heartbreak Sunnyside Up" is another stand-alone tale that is brutal and violent, and all too real. Lilly Roach is a waitress in a diner, and a woman who has lost her teenage daughter to the streets. Then, one day, Agent Graves shows up with the story of what really happened to Lilly's daughter--and a briefcase containing a pistol and 100 rounds of untraceable ammunition. Even the back story in this particular episode resonates with truth and pain directly from the real world. The book wraps with a three-chapter arc, "Parlez Kung Vous", that takes the reader back to Dizzy Cordova, the heroine introduced in the first graphic novel. She's in Paris on assignment, hooking up with a man named Mr. Branch. She has a lot in common with Mr. Branch. He was a reporter, very different from the barrio life Dizzy knew, but he was also offered the briefcase and 100 bullets--only Mr. Branch didn't use them and his life is now in jeopardy. The mystery surrounding the Trust, the Minutemen, and Agent Graves is cleared up a little, but only enough to reveal that more twists and turns are ahead.

    Besides writing 100 BULLETS, Brian Azzarello has also worked on the HELLBLAZER series, BATMAN/DEATHBLOW, the JONNY DOUBLE mini-series for DC COMICS, and STARTLING STORIES: BANNER, CAGE, and SPIDER-MAN for Marvel Comics. Eduard Risso, the co-creator of 100 BULLETS, has also drawn for BATMAN, the horror anthology FLINCH, the JONNY DOUBLE mini-series, and comic books in his native France.

    100 BULLETS: SPLIT SECOND CHANCE continues the same throbbing beat of violence and sharp emotion summoned up in the previous graphic novel. Each volume, so far there are four, stands on its own merits, but there is something to gain by reading them in order. As always, Azzarello's characters are sharply drawn and come across as real people with real problems. Primarily those problems are always about betrayal and the need for vengeance. Azzarello moves easily about the urban landscape of the real world, and his stories echo with current events. His dialogue puts a fine point on what could simply be just a collection of out-for-revenge stories. The characters are torn between the need for vengeance, the loss they're going to suffer when they act on that need or choose not to, and they're torn over the fact that once they follow up on that path to vengeance that their lives are going to be forever changed. Risso's artwork displays those worlds, those streets, and those emotions with knowing ease, while at the same time conveying the heaviness of life to someone living in the shadows. The fact that the vengance stories are only pearls on a string, and that the string is actually part of a much greater story Azzarello is telling is awesome. Readers can start to see the beginning bones of that story in these tales, and the imagination will reach to fill in the other gaps.

    This graphic novel is definitely recommended to fans of Azzarello and Risso's work. Also, any fans of noir and action movies will find a lot here to whet those appetites in the brilliant dialogue and panels that accompany these hard-edged stories. Comics fans that regularly read Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Chuck Dixon will find a new favorite author in Brian Azzarello....more info

  • Not Great
    I heard alot of good things about 100 Bullets, but this book didn't live up to them.

    The art is mediocre and it's hard to keep track of who is who. The story is a great concept, but it's not done as well as it could be.

    If you're a crime fan pick the book up. I think I'll pick up vol. 2 before calling it quits....more info
  • The best keeps getting better!
    The Counterfifth Detective is the fifth collection in the 100 Bullets series, and quite possibly the finest storyline yet. Counterfifth tells the story of Milo Lewis, a private detective on the mend from injuries received in an auto accident, who gets a visit from the series central character Agent Graves and his mysterious briefcase. Unlike other previous beneficiaries of Agent Graves' lethal gifting, Milo senses that all isn't quite what it seems and sets out to do some investigating, the results of which...well, you'll have to read it for yourself to find out! In all, The Counterfifth Detective raises the bar for the already outstanding Tarentino-esque 100 Bullets series, with a tip of the hat to old film noir crime dramas. By the way: If you haven't read 100 Bullets yet, you're really missing out. This series is to books, as The Sopranos is to television; completely landmark and visionary, and totally reinventing the genre. What are you waiting for? Go read it!...more info
  • One Of The Best OF The Series.
    This 100 bullets collection is one of the best pieces of art and crime noir on the comic shelf. This collection features six stories following six of the most important characters in the series, dizzy, cole burns, lono, graves, benito, and wylie. It has some of the best short stories i've ever read. This is Azzarello and risso at their upmost best. Awsome....more info
  • killer, in every sense
    This is the sixth installment of the trade paperback editions of the "100 Bullets" comic books series, covering issues 37-42. It is difficult to review without giving away parts of the plot, and in noir literature this good, that would be as criminal as most of the characters. Suffice to say that Azzarello's writing is in top form, as in the artwork by Risso. Azzarello and Risso pack an incredible "one, two punch". The story line for this series is full of twists and sub-plots, as a good noir novel should be. The artwork creates moods that accompany perfectly, frequently taking slightly grim or humorous side-tracks in the 'extra space' of the panels. If all graphic novels and comics were as well written and drawn as this there would be no question as to whether it was an art form to be taken seriously (not that there really is, in my opinion). While all of the single trade editions could stand alone, why would you want to do that to yourself? I don't recommend starting here.... start with number 1, read this one after number 5, and before 7. You are going to want to read them all so you might as well do it right....more info
  • Superb storytelling and Characterization, Strong emotions, Conspiracies, and some killer Twists
    I've read through Volume 8 without writing a review. I've enjoyed every trade paperback volume, mind you, but last night, reading THE HARD WAY, I was blown away. It's that good!

    For those unfamiliar with the series, the title is the starting point: A man named Graves comes into the life of assorted characters with a briefcase containing a gun, bullets, an insightful and personalized dossier, and carte blanche to the case's receiver to do wht they see fit with the weapon and ammo--with full immunity. No cops. No prosecution. Full out "get away with it" revenge, if they want. The dossier gives the proof to the, "This is the person that done you wrong." The bullets and gun say: "Go kill em. You got the all clear."

    The targets of Mr. Graves particular attention may seem unconnected at first, but as the tale progresses, those lives--of those who live, anyway, through their tale--come to intertwine in with a deepening background story arc of epic proportions.It all starts to weave together.

    Before this volume, we've seen snatches of what is going on behind the scenes, the complex nature of what Mr Graves is involved with. It's a long historical thing with far-reaching consequences. There are powerful and wealthy families, secret vows, enforcers, backstabbings and betrayals, changes in system, and it can be headily confusing at first.

    In THE HARD WAY, we begin with a seemingly unrelated little criminal tale that has a seedy, anxious feel and serves as a wonderful set-up--a prologue, if you will, or a tone setter-- for what's to come. One character, who has served as a sort of narrator during the story, advises us that all good stories end in tears. We're about to find that out firsthand.

    The whole conspiracy theory set-up (including the hilarious Snapple theory in the initial bar scene) is a brilliant set-up to the uber-conspiracy theory that is the next, meatier tale. We move into a story that gives us the past and the core of Wylie and his woe (and it's BAAAAAAAAAAAAD GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD stuff). Wylie's been in previous volumes.

    Set in New Orleans for a good chunk and including some interesting secondary characters (but everything is woven together gorgeously, viciously, movingly, bloodily, tragically), we finally learn the background of the Minutemen and the deeper significance of the important term Croatoan.

    The twists are just too good to even mildly spoil. So, no hints and no more plot info. Just get ready to get your throat clenched and head whiplashed around by a story that just gets darker and wilder and better.

    Man, I'm impressed. Not just by the story. I've been loving the visuals of this all along, and in this one, visuals and story seem to continue that amazing coherence and slickness. It's potent stuff. I'm so glad I have Vol 9 and 10 to read today. :)

    Mir...more info
  • Hope is dark
    Second volume of an instant classics.
    Azzarello forcefully tells intervowen stories of hope, revenge, destiny and choices of life and death. These stories are richly illustrated by one of my favorite graphic artists, Risso. This duo give life to a "noir" graphic novel and I'm sure someone will twist these stories in to real "film noir". I'm hooked, completely....more info
  • The Best Series Out There
    This is the beginning volume of a series that just blows your mind. The story is more of a crime novel than a classic comic or graphic novel but maintains all the qualities of the latter. The art is outstanding;I got a lot of great tattoo ideas from these books as well. Characters developemnt is very good and new characters continue to be introduced. There are characters from all walks of life. You never know who to route for or who the good guys and bad guys really are and the story never competely unfolds. I am eagerly awaiting volume 11 to come out. Wheher this is your first graphic novel or you are an old pro, pick this one up....more info
  • interesting enough
    Well, I don't quite know what to say about this book. I have always liked noir world, whether on film or in Raymond Chandler novels. So I might say that I was kinda pre-influenced, and my reception and judgement of this books is somewhat less than adequate.

    May it be so, but I must say my two words about it. Many of you out there watched movies by Quentin Tarantino. Well, you take Reservoir dogs, Kill Bill, Pulp fiction, mash it all up, and voila you just have perfect stage for a comic book series.

    Now, another thing that is quite essential for good comic book is a charismatic character. If these come in plural, even better. 100 bullets has some of these, and along with interesting storyline, number of cliffhangers and allusions, they make dark and broody, misterious world that is yet to unravel. Watching this world breathe is an adventure in itself. Of course, you can't make noir without some classic clich®¶s, but for the sake of the genre, you should really close one or two eyes on this.

    Biggest problem of this comic book is drawing. It has been drawn in clasic DC (Vertigo) style, with pale coloring, without care for details, with rough scetching of characters, and some unskilfull shading. I couldn't help but wonder what would this world be like if it were drawn in more realistic manner, adding some tone and background to the story. The way it looks now, one could say that text far surpasses the picture, and for comic book that does not belong to the magical "indie" label, that is saying much.

    All in all, you should really give it a go. It may, as it has done to me, lure you into its pages. And once in there, you will want to continue with your role as a voyeur. Nothing should stop you in that....more info
  • Good comic, but not a masterpiece
    Since its release, people have been trying to tell us that "100 Bullets" is some of the best comics to come out since "Maus" and "Watchmen" were released. To these people, I say "You need to read more good comics."
    Don't get me wrong, the PREMISE of "100 Bullets" is brilliant and the artwork really suits the series, but I think that the dialogue is TOO stylized; you can tell that the writer didn't really grow up in a place where they talk like that, because every character in the book sounds like they came out of the Keanu Reeves flick "Hardball." The pacing of the book is decent but not great and, as is the case with most serial stories that are translated to graphic novels later, there are a lot of plot threads that are kind of left hanging. Some of which you feel are setting you up for another book, some of which you feel SHOULD be ambiguous, and some of which are simply because it's an ongoing monthly comic and the "real" readers will find out what's happening soon enough....more info
  • Graphic SF Reader
    The title hook is introduced here. Graves, who you presume is some sort of scary super spook, offers 100 bullets and a gun, which if you want to shoot one, is a get out of jail free card. If a cop finds these bullets at a scene, and looks them up, the evidence will completely disappear, and everyone will walk away, is the implication.

    This case of weapon and ammo is offered to someone that has a wrong in their past that they would definitely consider doing some shooting over.


    ...more info
  • High quality crime comic
    This is the first and only 100 bullets Trade PaperBack that I've read, so I don't think I got all the context, but I still think that Six Feet Under the Gun is a good stand alone collection. I tend to read about comics that I'm interested a lot through reviews online before I buy them, so I had an understanding of the basic premise of "100 Bullets" and given that small knowledge, I found Six Feet Under the Gun to be pretty accessible.

    This is basically a collection of six 22 page stories about individuals from the "100 Bullets" world. Unfortunately, there aren't any origin stories, and none of these are particularly expositive of the characters personal history. They all just show something important happening to the character which sets them onto a different path. It's important to know that this story utilizes the "I (Agent Graves) give you 100 Bullets to kill this man who ruined you" device very, very sparingly; these stories enrich existing characters. The characters are: Dizzy Cordova, Agent Graves, Lono, Wylie, Cole and Benito.

    I don't know much about art from a technical standpoint, but I think that Edwardo Risso's artwork is pretty cool. As an interesting factoid I found out, Risso is an immigrant from South America and he speaks Spanish, so the writer, Brian Azzarello, has to find a different way to communicate ideas to him.

    I don't have very much experience with crime comics; I've read the "Preacher" series and a few other graphic novels. I didn't think that this TPB was very objectionable, it's profane and mildly violent, although not like Preacher is. I wouldn't consider giving it to small children, although mature people can handle this. Six Feet Under the Gun, a good set of stories, highly reccomended....more info

  • Graphic SF Reader
    This is maybe stretching the the title joke a little far, but we have your classic down and out private eye here, that knows more, and is involved more than anyone can think. Of course, there is a deceitful, stunning, femme fatale in the picture, as well.

    Much pain and bandaging ensues for him, and others.


    ...more info
  • Not the best in the series, but still great
    First of all, the last reviewer, Michael K. Smith, hasn't read the four books in the series before this one, so please, only take his review seriously if you are sastisfied reading one chapter form the middle of a given story, and no more.

    On a most different scale, I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great series (overall, 5 out of 5 stars, for sure), but the ironic detachment seeping out of the punny characters of this storyline tends to slow it down. I can't say that I think endless, breathless puns make one's writing remarkably appealing. The Counterfifth Detective is too much in the shadow of the last book, which tremendously advanced the storyline and our understanding of the Trust, the Minutemen, and Graves. Very little is revealed here, and in the end, there's a bit of a feeling of disappointment that not much actually happened.

    The book is spectacular when read in series with the rest, but, by itself, it falls a bit short of the standards set by the rest of 100 Bullets....more info

  • What Price Justice?
    100 Bullets is an ambitious crime drama comic series, of which this graphic novel reprints the first five issues.

    These first two story lines, "100 Bullets" and "Shot, Water Back", set up the premise the series is built upon. Individuals from all walks of live are approached by a mysterious man bearing an unusual gift; a suitcase containing a gun, one hundred untraceable bullets, and evidence pointing them to someone who has wronged them in the past.

    But the offer of unpunished retribution is far from simple than it sounds, as the people suddenly faced with this blank check for revenge suddenly find themselves dealing with the concepts of Justice, Innocence, Morality, Loyalty, and Retribution.

    Azzarello not only brings these philosophical dilemmas into the light, but also enhances them with mystery surrounding 'Agent Graves' and his offer. A chance at vengeance is a tempting offer, but what are the ulterior motives of the man with the briefcase? Does the chance to settle a score outweigh the risk of being used as a weapon for someone else's battle? What is truly at stake here, and who is really pulling the strings?

    The first two story lines in 100 Bullets take us from crooked cops and greedy gang bangers in the urban jungles, to internet crimes and corporate power brokers. The stories and situations are modern, yet there is an undeniable Noir tone throughout, an unrelenting mood that never lets you forget that, despite the occasional moments of brightness and levity, there are no happy endings when violence and vengeance become a part of the background. ...more info
  • 100 Bullets Volume 12 Dirty
    I have been following this series for a while and have ended up really enjoying the graphic novels that are a reprint of the comic books. This volume covers 100 bullets numbers 84 through 88, and has been delayed, most fans are annoyed by this, but the waiting for the TPB was well worth it. The book is a lot of fun to read, and while adds nothing new to the comic books; this is a great way to follow the story line without having to purchase the comic books. TPB's also hold up a little bit better than comic books, meaning you can open the pages and get a better idea of the art work which is very good.

    100 Bullets is a story line about the Trust, and volume 12 covers members of the Trust that are falling in the war against Graves and his soldiers. One family of the trust reaches out to a semi-retired Minute man to help win the war, but Graves is making a valiant attempt at total control, the question is can the Minute man help stop the coming final battle?

    What is interesting though is the premise that Graves allows a person to have revenge against a person who has wronged them. He also gives them full immunity against any charges that might happen for the act. This is what makes the series 100 Bullets in general very compelling, who would not want revenge? Who would turn down the chance to right the wrongs that had been personally committed against them, and this is where the Trust comes in, they must stop Graves because the deal is too compelling. Few if any would truly ever turn Graves down.

    Volume 12 continues the story line, and is worth getting, 4 of 5 stars though, as you can also get the comic books if you are interested in seeing what is happening in the story line. The comics are already up to number 96 (at time of writing the review), and it looks like the series is starting to wrap up nicely. Let us hope that Vertigo does not make us wait too long for the other volumes that are coming.

    ...more info
  • Sucks you in like a black hole.
    WOW. What can I say about this book? It's GREAT. The cover is great, and was probably the reason I decided to pick it up. I'm glad I did, because it's a fantastic story that had me hooked from the first page. The art inside isn't as impressive as the cover art, but it's still quite good, and not so cluttered that you can't understand what's happening in a panel, which is great because like I said, the story is the star of the show. I would liken this to something else, but I don't think I've encountered anything similar. Basically, if you enjoy street justice, moral dilemmas, conspiracies, and the main subject of a storyline NOT always winning, then this is definitely the book for you....more info
  • 100 Bullets Gets Better!
    The 100 Bullets 2nd volume,and oh is it good!This was my first volume of the series and is probably one of my favourites!This volume's got more of a story than the last one,so expect to meet characters that will stay around for the series later.In this book we get introduced to the minute men Cole Burns and lono,this also has Mr. Branch who gives us more info about the secret crime orginization The Trust.So to narrow it down,I highly reccomend this title....more info
  • Great premise, too quickly abandoned
    I wanted to like 100 Bullets so much that I actually tried the second volume, even after being immensely disappointed with the first.

    The set-up is great: A mysterious agent arrives in your life. He has incontrovertible proof of someone that's done some sort of horrible wrong to you, a big honkin' gun and 100 untraceable bullets. What do you do?

    The moral dilemma is terrific, and the possibilities are endless. The good guys, the bad guys, the crimes... limitless stories. And the parts of the series that focus on these stories? Those are the good parts. And Azzarello is clearly a great writer - well up to the task of making this ethical conflicts as absorbing as possible.

    However, the premise quickly takes a back seat, as 100 Bullets gets caught up in the larger narrative. Who is this agent? Why does he do this? Is this a... conspiracy?! Honestly? I don't care. Paranoia is old news in comics, whereas the insightful treatment of moral quandries is new and different. Stop world-building and write some stories!

    I love the covers - they're stark and intense, using solid black/white tones to reflect the difficult decisions contained within. The interior art, however, disappointed me. It is too cartoony to be taken seriously, and too detailed to be abstract - as a result, it seemed to be disconnected with the subject matter.
    ...more info
  • great new series
    100 Bullets is a great new series, though I've read the books not included here, and I think it might have been better as a mini-series. Nice artwork, interesting and original storyline, though not one that coudl be continued indefinitely. Still, good stuff, if only the first volume. Legendary....more info
  • Great Storytelling, Tremendous Art, A Masterpiece
    100 Bullets has received a great deal of praise from comic publications and fans alike. That's fine and dandy, but you and I both know that comic magazines have raved about things a million times before, and that the results of said raves are usually disappointing, hacky stories that have been done a million times before. This isn't one of those!!!!! 100 Bullets is one of the finest comics out there. Blending a mysterious ongoing plot with the stories of the invidividuals given a gun and 100 untraceable bullets, this is a comic that regularly delivers entertaining, intellectually stimulating stories!!! Some people call it grim and gritty because it deals with crime and its not the happiest book on the face of the planet. Some people want to rave on and on about how good the dialogue is (in my opinion the best part about the dialogue is that you never have to think about it. The dialogue is perfectly natural. You don't feel like you are reading a comic so much as eavesdropping on a conversation.) Anyway, Brain Azzarello and Eduardo Risso have outdone themselves. Before I finish this up, I have two things left to say: 1). Don't even think about buying this until you have read the first collected edition entitled First Shot, Last Call and 2). This collection also features a rather spiffy introduction by comics legend and all around great talent Howard Chaykin!!!! If you have ever liked any type of comic, you have to give this one a try!!!!...more info
  • Decent revenge stories
    "100 Bullets" has one of the coolest concepts around - a mysterious man gives individuals who have been shafted a gun, 100 untraceable bullets and complete legal freedom to do whatever they want with it. A nice temptation to seek revenge, and revenge is at the heart of the stories compiled in this, the first collection of this series.

    'First Call, Last Call' contains 3 seperate stories involving a different character who gets their lives changed by Agent Graves, the enigmatic man with the gun and the penchant for vengeance. They're decent tales, not as genius as some of touted the series to be, but pretty interesting. They have definately intrigued me to find out what happens next, as the second story hinted that there is more going on than just a crazy guy with a gun.

    As far as the series goes, I havent read the rest of the issues, but 'First Call, Last Call' is a pretty good intro into the series. They didn't super-impress me by any means, but were pretty good....more info

  • Middle of the bell curve . . .
    I read almost every non-manga graphic novel I can find, so I have a basis for comparison when I say that their quality adheres to the classic bell curve. Some are pretty good, some a pretty bad, but the majority are merely mediocre -- and this interesting but confused effort fits right in the middle of the pack. "100 Bullets" is apparently an ongoing series of which this is just one installment, but I haven't seen the others, so I can only say that the set-up -- the old man with an attache case containing a pistol and a hundred guaranteed untraceable slugs for it -- doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And about one-third of the way through, the attache case ceases to have any part in the story anyway. So what do we have? We have Milo Garrett (whose name actually might be Lewis), a faceless, alcoholic private detective with a bad attitude who like to start fights. "Faceless" literally, because he was in a car wreck and has his face swathed in bandages for most of the book. Then there's an art theft, a number of murders, a number of bad guys -- badder than Milo, that is -- and a lot of sometimes well-written dialogue and interior monologue that borrows heavily from Raymond Chandler. While the separate scenes are usually pretty well done, the overall plot, as noted, wanders all over the place. I never have quite figured out what the ending meant. The design and drawing, while eye-catching, isn't all that original. So, a very average piece of work....more info
  • Noir in a Graphic Novel
    An explanatory note to begin with: the Five star rating is an anticipatory rating. I say that so that readers will not be misled into thinking Volume One is "all there is."

    Taken by itself, First Shot, Last Call" is an entertaining story (two stories, actually) about individuals empowered to take justifiable revenge. They can be read and enjoyed on their own terms, but by themselves would not have risen to the top of my reading objectives. Perhaps I would have read on in the series; perhaps not. There is, after all, so much to read.

    Fortunately for me, I had heard of 100 Bullets and picked up two mid-story issues to see what it is like. I was hooked. In those issues, aspects of the story were opaque to me, but I got a clear exposure to the interweaving threads in the tapestry that Azzarello and Risso have conceived. It is those threads, the plots within plots, the twists and treacherous actions of significant characters, that transform 100 Bullets from the fairly simply stories of revenge that readers encounter in First Shot, Last Call into a noir epic that has earned my attention (and anticipation of the chapters not yet written).

    On its face, the story line of 100 Bullets seems to be the opportunities given to Dizzy Cordova (parts 1-3) and Lee Dolan (parts 4 and 5) to obtain revenge on the bad guys whose actions resulted in the death of Dizzy's husband and daughter, and resulted in framing Lee, leading to his divorce and bankruptcy. The bad guys deserve what the reader senses they are about to get. A shadowy figure, Agent Graves, appears and offers Dizzy and Lee a pistol and 100 untraceable bullets, allowing them, reluctantly at first, to pursue vengeance.

    So far, so good, but not in itself an action line that would sustain itself for 11 (and counting) volumes. Had I not read some issues deep in the story line, I would not sense the depth the series has. Without giving too many clues on where the story is going, let me suggest that at the end of the first volume, First Shot, Last Call, the reader should ponder the following: What is the real purpose of Agent graves? When Dizzy has avenged her family is her story concluded? Why does she get in the car with Shepherd? What is the relationship of Shephard and Graves: "associate," co-worker, ally, friend, rival, opponent? Does Graves have a personal reason for sending Lee against the head of Dietrich Securities? Does XIII have a special significance? What about the events in the building across the way and will we see more of the man in the Hawaiian shirt? And, of course, who is the man with the dog?

    Some suggestions on how to read 100 Bullets for maximum enjoyment:

    1) Remember that it was written in monthly installments. I find it hard to discipline myself to stop at the end of each monthly episode and not immediately continue with the action, but the story was written that way, and the suspense is enhanced if you allow at least several days to elapse before continuing. That relates to the next point.

    2) Read each episode several times. The writing style is lean and Spartan and the nuances are easy to miss the first time through. (Remember this was written as a monthly series).

    3) Look at the art, especially the background art. Details of the art take on initially missed significance in subsequent readings. My pleasure is certainly enhanced by multiple readings (before I know what the next installment will bring).

    4) Trust no one.
    ...more info

 

 
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