Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review - The Lawless Ones #1


"When have I ever let you down, Red? Of course we're ready."

You don't cross mobsters. You just don't. Especially if you're in the same mob you're double-crossing. Things go from daring to bad in a heartbeat in The Lawless Ones #1. The first issue is written by Victor Wright, illustrated by Federico Zumel, inked by Nino Cajayon, colored by Wesley Wong and lettered by John Burton.

When Jean Harvey arrives in town unexpectedly, she convinces gang members of the Brooklyn Blades to steal money from a bank robbery - the only problem is the money belongs to the mob. Red Mosely is a tough Irish gangster ruling the underworld in New York; everyone is scared of him, even the police. Swearing vengeance the mob starts the hunt to find out who has their two million dollars.

Wright's story is a classic mobster tale that's got a little bit of betrayal mixed in. Red's reputation is built on impulsive violence and ruling with an iron fist, ratcheting up the tension behind ripping him off as the reader follows along with Jean Harvey and her new motley crew. Considering the premise is relatively simple, Wright does pace it rather well, with the story moving along at a very rapid clip. Some of the dialogue is a little simplistic and straightforward, but fortunately the book doesn't suffer from characters hyper-narrating the action. The setting evokes a different time, yet some of the dialogue feels a little more modern than one would expect.

Zumel's art is effective at conveying the mobster dynamic the book is setting out to achieve. Characters are illustrated with an emphasis on their muscular arms and faces primarily. Jean gets a lot of attention in terms of her appearance, which makes sense considering she's the catalyst for the entire series essentially. Other characters again evoke a different era when it comes to gangsters, even including the excessively slicked back hair. There are a ton of panels stacked upon one another, which sometimes makes things seem a little hectic.

Mobsters abide by a certain code and it's a safe bet that betrayal is part of said code. Where the newfound rebels go from here remains to be seen, but it's expected that Red is about to bring a whole world of hurt down upon them. Jean's role is pretty pivotal to the entirety of the series and will influence the direction of the series as a whole. There are some interesting bits to the book that could be more fascinating if they're further explored, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, The Lawless Ones #1 is a book that's intriguing for the potential.

The Lawless Ones #1 is available via Comixology now.

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