Monday, February 17, 2014

Review - The White Suits #1

"...sometimes you can tear a memory wide open."

Crime bosses have so much to contend with. Help who tend to rat them out, authorities looking to break them down, men in white suits looking to wipe them out. The latter is a little less common, but it does make for a good read from Dark Horse Comics in The White Suits #1. The issue is written by Frank Barbiere and illustrated by Toby Cypress.

Mysterious killers dressed in white, they savaged the Cold War Russian underworld—then disappeared. Now they have resurfaced in New York, leaving a trail of dead mobsters. In this bloody wake, an amnesiac and Sarah Anderson, an FBI agent search for the answer to a single question: Who are the White Suits? Besides rather snazzy dressers, they appear to be more than capable of holding their own when it comes to exercising force and getting their way.

You can't say that Barbiere doesn't know how to write violence, because man, The White Suits #1 is uber-violent and action-packed. The concept of a super-hit group isn't exactly new, but Barbiere is trying to freshen it up with someone chasing them who might have previous ties to the group, whether she knows it or not. Their skills in combat make the book move along exceptionally fast, offering a steady does of gunfire, limb removal and gang infighting. There's a bit of The Dark Knight mixed in, with the gangs deciding to unify against a common opponent, with some expressing reservations about the plan. It's a relatively common plot point, but it still does manage to make the White Suits feel even more dangerous.

Cypress' illustrations are very effective and fragmented. They're very stylized and feel like what would happen if Spy vs. Spy got a lot more aggressive and angry. The characters are almost caricatures of themselves, with some exaggerated characteristics that embellish their personas, but really help tell the story. He relies on blacks, whites, oranges and reds, all of which really underscore the violence that the White Suits are quick to exhibit. The orange is a nice touch and mixes things up a bit, preventing the red from being over-used as a means of emphasizing the gore.

The White Suits #1 is an incredibly fast-paced book that's over before you can really figure out what happened; that's a good thing though. The White Suits are extremely proficient at killing and they tend to enjoy it, much like the reader will likely enjoy the book. The overarching story is shaping up to be something bigger than just professional killers and hopefully Barbiere can keep things moving in a positive direction. In the meantime, the first issue sets up a lot of interesting things Barbiere can explore, accompanied by Cypress' very sharp art. If you're a fan of books filled with blood, language and action, then The White Suits #1 is right up your alley.

The White Suits #1 is in stores February 19 with interiors below.


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