Review - Die Hard Year One #1

Sometimes a comic comes along that helps fill in the pieces to a story that just make sense. This first issue of Die Hard Year One #1 does that perfectly. The issue shows how John McClane got his start as a rookie cop in New York City during the crazy times of 1976. Specifically when the entire country is celebrating the bicentennial, and this Fourth of July of all Fourth of Julys puts McClane in the middle of hippie town chaos. Also a more sinister evil is roaming around at this same time: the famous Son of Sam is in the midst of his brutal serial killings. This comic comes from Boom! Studios and is written by Howard Chaykin with art by Stephen Thompson. Following is my review of this awesome comic. Spoilers ahead. McCLane’s tale starts with him arriving to work on a day like every other, as everyday walking around New York City could be a death sentence. It's danger at its highest with all sorts of people wandering the streets of the city from hippies to pickpockets to gang members to even tourists. With this huge mixing pot of characters it just sets the stage for all sorts of things to go wrong and McClane is right in the middle of it all. What's interesting with this series is it also begins to tell two other tales along with McCLane’s: a young girl who moved to the big city to live it large and pair of cops. After they get the other two stories started, it switches focus back on McClane walking his beat and coming upon a pickpocket team stealing a tourist’s wallet. This is where the badass McClane comes out, as he runs down the pickpocket taking him to the ground and getting the wallet back. The ending of this first issue is what's really cool as it sets you up to want the next issue even more to find out what happens. For the ending it starts with the other two cops shaking down a guy in an alley wanting more money. The guy is saying it can’t be done and the two cops start to beat the crap out of him. The only twist is while this is going on the young girl is walking out of the subway and happens past the alley and sees them beating the man. They then proceed to shoot him, with her seeing it all but them not knowing she is there. What's most amazing about this is that all of these events have happened by noon on one day. Throughout the entire comic they have a little clock showing the time (a la 24)to help track events and just shows how quick things can happen. I really enjoyed this comic as the approach they took in writing and conveying McCLane’s rookie year is great. The art is amazing in the color tone and style of drawing as it helps show the gritty feeling of New York City at that time. I enjoy them telling more than one story and I think that eventually Chaykin will intertwine the three into one. I can’t wait for the next issue as this looks to be an amazing series. If you're a fan of the Die Hard series then you will like this glimpse into how it all got started.