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100 Bullets

Brian Azzarello
Art: Eduardo Risso

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 20 August 2016

What if you were given a brief case filled with irrefutable evidence against those who wronged you, a gun and one hundred bullets that ensure you will never face charges if you use them? What choice would you make? In 100 Bullets, Azzarello examines the choices his diverse characters make with this proposition as he builds a complex crime noir epic already hailed as a modern comic book classic.

100 Bullets begins fairly low key as a simple procedural style series as the mysterious Agent Graves introduces seemingly random characters as winners in his vengeance lottery. As each of the episodes unfold however, layers are revealed that present a much greater tapestry being sewn. Characters begin to re-appear and mix as they play more important roles in the complex story structure; in different places and different times. Soon, we understand that Graves and his offer are a gateway into a greater saga which involves an organisation which plays a very large role in the course of history.

An operatic crime drama which examines choice and questions if there really can be a free pass at revenge as the fates of flawed, morally ambiguous characters become intertwined. 100 Bullets serves as a stark reminder of the dangerous turn human instincts can lead to as violence, sex, vengeance, family, betrayal and differing ideologies are thrust together (sometimes all at once) in an unfair fight to survive a no-escape struggle for power.

Read it before it becomes the next big HBO crime series.