Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's Mr. Graves World- We Just Live In It!

100 Bullets #74
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
100 Bullets is THE TITLE I have to read immediately when it comes out. I am enraptured in the world that Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risson have created. 100 Bullets is smart, engaging reading material with an adult edge.

Issue #74 was no exception to the rule. Last night, it was the top of my reading pile, and has been read obsessively by me twice. I plan to read it again tonight. That is how much I love this book.

What would you do if you were given 100 untraceable bullets and a gun to match? Would you get revenge? Would you turn it on yourself? Would you shoot at random people for fun? What would you do?

100 Bullets gives a glimpse into that way of thinking. The elusive Mr. Graves has traveled everywhere handing out the fabulous Louis Vuitton attache to a wide cross range of people. His motives are becoming more visible, but it still isn't completely in range. His rebel group of Minutemen and their opposite number, The Trust are an ancient tradition dating back to the time of queens and kings.

100 Bullets is scheduled to be a 100 issue series, which is very fitting. The tale being told is a juicy mystery, with tiny pieces being put together with each storyline. Azzarello isn't making it easy for readers, and that is what makes the story so fascinating. He knows who his fanbase is, and writes to their intelligence instead of using cliches. As each Minuteman is revealed, the story becomes even more compelling. We find out just enough to be curious, and that is the fun of it.

This latest story arc featured the reveal of the final Minuteman. The story of two brothers, with many underlying subplots, kept me guessing until the final few pages. The motives and the end result are still a bit unclear, meaning that there are more layers to peel away before the story is done. That is exciting in itself.

I especially enjoy the dichotomy of the two female "lead" characters. First there is Dizzy, raised in the barrio and full of sorrow at the loss of her husband and son. She tried to fill the void with her new superior Mr. Shepherd, only to have her life become more tragic. She is the elusive rare bird that three men are desperate for, but until she can own herself, she is unattainable. Trained to be a Minuteman, Dizzy still has many layers that are yet to be revealed.

The other side of the coin is Megan Dietrich, a member of The Trust. Raised in wealth and privelege, Megan has a hard shell that has only been strengthened by recent circumstances. Egotistical and preening at the beginning, Megan has become a much more complex woman as this story has unfolded. She is the enemy, but she is terribly seductive, with so many nuances, that the readers can't help but be fascinated.

The Trust and The Minutemen. Two sides of the same coin. There is a mystery there. A bad thing happened, and the readers don't know what it is yet. We have seen random flashbacks, but are still in the dark. We know that there are two sides rapidly forming, but there is no clue as to who the winner will be.

If you haven't read 100 Bullets, give it a try. I would reccomend picking up the trades, as the story reads more cohesively in arcs then in single issues.

100 Bullets will not disapoint. It gives great mystery, sucking the reader in from page one. Azzarello and Risso are doing something special here, giving the readers an intelligent, compelling, fabulous ride.

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