The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
Some previous readers (yes, both of you) may remember that I posted my impressions of Watchmen a couple months ago. I had never read a comic book before that, but Alan Moore had me hooked. So I figured that I should start reading something else,
but I wasn't sure where to start. When I saw a blurb in GI about some
series called 100 Bullets, I thought, hey, why not. If nothing else, it has a cool name.
It was awesome.
a literary level, 100 Bullets is best described as Resovoir Dogs meets
Lost meets Oliver Stone. The series basically combines Tarantino-style
ultraviolence with a crazy conspiracy setting. All this is pretty
amazing, but what makes 100 Bullets so great (and addictive to read) is
the slow onion peel of the plot. The writers are rather fond of
shrouding everything in mystery. They do answer your questions, but
those answers ony yield more questions, similar to Lost. The effect is
simultaneously maddening and compelling. You hate that the writers
leave you hanging, but at the same time you keep reading because you
have to know what happens. As a Lost junkie looking for something to
fill the post-show void, 100 Bullets does a hell of a job.
say much about the plot because, well, talking about any part of it
would be a spoiler. The best part of 100 Bullets is trying to figure
out what's going on. The basic premise, though, starts like this. A
person, always down on their luck and usually depressed, is approached
by a mysterious old man named only Agent Graves. He then presents them with an attaché case with a gun, one hundred
rounds of ammunition, a picture of someone who's ruined their life, and
most importantly, the promise that if the recipient of the case uses
the gun, they will not be punished or prosecuted. As fa as the
recipient is concerned, he or she has complete freedom to take revenge
on the person who ruined their life. It's a fascinating premise, and
the main plot only gets better from there.
Going back to the
comparison to Quentin Tarantino's cult classic Resovoir Dogs, let's
just say that this is not a comic for the squish. There's a
consistently high level of brutality, and a couple of the scenes are
truly indescribable. If you think you've seen everything, well... 100
Bullets will prove you wrong, and it'll do it with a demonic smile.
With that said, I thought that the violence actually added to the
general effect. Seeing characters who you've grown attached to get
holes blown through them resonates emotionally, to say the least. It's
bloody brilliant in every sense of the phrase.
One other cool aspect
of 100 Bullets os also the art. It's realistic, but really emphasizes
light and shadow to accentuate the good and evil of the various
characters. One recurring image which is almost iconic of the series is
a face shrouded in shadow, but with the eyes and mouth emphasized.
As you can see, the image is simultaneously inspiring and unsettling. The dark shadows also help emphasize the blood splatters, always another constant in this series.
the whole, I was thoroughly entertained by 100 Bullets. It's violent,
twisted, disturbing, and I loved every minute of it. While this is not
something that should be read by kids, everybody else needs to get a
copy, ASAP. In the end, all I can say is, go read it.