Thursday, January 30, 2014
"The block was our family, literally. That alone was worth fighting for. Sometimes, it was worth dying for."
Throughout history, organizations and factions have fought over whatever they deemed worth fighting over. The mob is one such organization, capitalizing on violence and strategies to carve out a bigger piece of the monetary pie. It also applies to organized armed forces like the US Army, capitalizing on the same strategies for the cause du jour. Combine the two and you've got very similar operating structures and World War Mob #1 from New Paradigm Studios.
The first issue is written and lettered by Vito Delsante and illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo.
In New York City in the 1930s, times were tough. Times when children fought tooth and nail for control of a block; a parallel made a few years later when US soldiers are desperately fighting to hold their own against the Nazis in World War II. Lucky Luciano made offers to some of the more "capable" amongst the boys, an offer he would later extend to Captain Vincenzo DiGreco. Luciano and the heads of the other four families that make up the Five Families are putting together a team to take out a rather influential figure in the war not named Adolph Hitler.
Delsante's story is intriguing. The mob has historically elicited a hearty loyalty in those who are tapped to be members of it and fusing that loyalty with being a soldier is an interesting dynamic. In many ways, the mob is much like an army in that it has a hierarchy to it, foot soldiers and offensives for territory, something which makes Delsante's premise very believable. Considering the magnitude of the war, it's not a stretch by any means to think the Allies wouldn't turn to any group they felt would give them the upper-hand in the end. The characters themselves are a little light on the characterization, with Delsante primarily relying on the reader to draw upon their own stereotypes about members of the mob to personalize them.
Caracuzzo's art is a little light on detail, but effective. It has a watercolor quality to it that effectively gets the action across to the reader and feels appropriate in regards to the time when the book takes place. There's an effective use of red coloring to emphasize blood on the more monochromatic pages, making the violence itself stand out. The panels are laid out in a pretty standard fashion, except Caracuzzo relies on a black background to present each panel as a photograph of sorts of the moment in time.
World War Mob #1 has an Inglorious Basterds feel to it, in that an unlikely team is put together and feels that the ends will justify the means. To that end, they're ready and willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goal and--owing to their mob and Armed Forces allegiances--will do so rather blindly and with extreme loyalty. Where the series will go from here is a question mark though. The plot feels pretty straightforward and honest, which means the story could end up being formulaic for the most part. The premise could offer a look at history through a rather unique prism if Delsante and Caracuzzo can keep things interesting, making World War Mob #1 an intriguing book to check out.
World War Mob #1 is available via Comixology now.