Sunday, October 14, 2012

100 Bullets Vol. 6 Six Feet Under the Gun Trade Paperback Review

100 Bullets Vol. 6 - Six Feet Under the Gun
DC Comics - Vertigo
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$14.95 (2003)
$49.99 (2012) Deluxe Edition Hardcover Vol. 3
ISBN 9781563899966

Contributors: Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Dave Johnson, Trish Mulvihill, Clem Robins, Digital Chameleon, Zylonol Studios, and introduction by Greg Rucka

Reprints: 100 Bullets #37-42

Synopsis: Six self-contained stories following various main characters:
Graves meets with Shepard

  • On Accidental Purpose - Dizzy goes back to her old neighborhood and meets up with her old friends.  She has lost touch with them and they don't understand her vague explanations about what she has been doing for the past year.  Shepard and Graves meet to discuss their next steps (and chug cocktails)
  • Cole Burns Slow Hand - Cole returns to visit Sasha, his former fiancee, who he walked out on when his memories returned from being a Minuteman.  He wants to patch things up, but it's been over a year  and she's righteously pissed
  • Ambition's Audition - Benito accompanies his father down to Little Havana where Shepard checks in with him.  Benito despises his father and acts out to annoy him, but this time there might be an assassin in the crowd.  A turning point for Benito and his father
  • Night of the Payday - Shepard hooks Lono up with a job and gives him a warning - "You've pissed off some powerful people - time to lay low".  Lono was never one to back down or take orders, but there's no more room for loose cannons in the game
  • A Crash - Graves meets with a small group of dissenting family leaders from the Trust.  They don't agree with the head of the Medici family trying to consolidate power and they want to preserve their positions
  • Point Off the Edge - Wylie gets a visit from Graves and a briefcase filled with an untraceable gun/bullets.  It's Wylie's chance to escape his boring mess of a life where he works at a miserable gas station in the middle of nowhere.  Will he take it?

Shepard meets with Lono

Pros: Great plot and writing by Azzarello, Risso continues to deliver quality art, Johnson's covers are pretty good, good set of stories with some major plot developments, won an Eisner award in 2002 for Best Continuing Series

Cons: Azzarello's dialogue can be a bit thick - "You may play your cards close to the vest...but you wear your heart on your sleeve.  And frankly, it's what's up it that has us concerned.", no nudity, didn't like the ending to Lono's story

Mike Tells It Straight: The sixth (get it, Six Feet Under the Gun?) collection of 100 Bullets gives us six self-contained stories (after the fifth volume was one long story Vol. 5 The Counterfifth Detective).  This installment is a nice combination of character-focused stories laced with generic crime noir (i.e. in the Graves story we get scenes of a young couple finding a crashed car with a dead man clutching the winning lottery ticket) and always continuing the deeper conspiracy plot of Graves vs. The Trust.

Cole surprises Sasha
Art by Risso is consistently excellent and covers by Johnson remain interesting.  Azzarello's writing is really good with plotting and pacing being his main strengths.  Dialogue continues to be a little spotty as the characters break down into cliched speech patterns (Cole's talk with Sasha was a prime example as he laid it on pretty thick).

The usual disclaimer - this is the sixth collection in a series and readers need to have read the previous volumes to fully understand the story.  It's a good collection of stories and actual events happen instead of just keeping the status quo (could have easily been a bunch of backfill stories with no plot development).  Looking forward to the next collection.

TO BUY and Recommendations: