Friday, August 23, 2013

100 Bullets Vol. 10 Decayed Trade Paperback Review

100 Bullets Vol. 10 - Decayed
DC Comics - Vertigo
192 pages
$14.99 (2007) Trade Paperback
$49.99 (2013) Deluxe Edition Hardcover Vol. 4
ISBN 9781401209988

Contributors: Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Patricia Mulvihill, Clem Robins, and covers by Dave Johnson

Reprints: 100 Bullets #68-75

Synopsis: A secret group called The Trust has ruled from the shadows for centuries and is made up of thirteen powerful families.  They employed a special team called the Minutemen to maintain order among the families and swiftly punish any members who got out of line.  Then The Trust betrayed the Minutemen and tried to have them destroyed, but instead they disappeared along with their leader Agent Graves.  Now Graves is back and recalling the Minutemen in order to exact revenge on The Trust.  Graves is known for testing people by giving them a briefcase containing one hundred untraceable bullets, an untraceable handgun, evidence of the person who has ruined the briefcase recipient's life, and a guarantee no investigation will happen.  The rest is up to them.
Augustus Medici comforts Megan Dietrich
after her near-fatal shooting

Sleep, Walker - Jack continues to street brawl in Atlantic City, but he's won too many bouts and no one wants to fight a sure thing.  A new fighter shows up and it could prove to be the fight he's been waiting for to stop him cold. The fighter?  Lono.  Meanwhile we get to see Agent Graves' rise to power as head of the Minutemen.  Augustus Medici gets closer to Megan Dietrich, who is nursing a scar after a failed assassination attempt.

A Wake - The house of Nagel has just lost its head and two heirs remain, but they're fraternal twins and a single successor must be chosen.  The Trust demands an answer.  Will Augustus Medici's plan to unify The Trust under one house be put into jeopardy or will he send his new warlord, Lono, to intercede?

Ronnie Rome is an enforcer for Mimo Pallidino and runs a tight ship.  His brother, Remi, is another story and is always trying to get some action on the side.  He causes all sorts of trouble and Ronnie is constantly defusing the situations.  The problem is Ronnie has a case with one hundred untraceable bullets and an untraceable gun.  Is he a former Minuteman that Graves is trying to awaken?

Amorality Play - Lono visits San Francisco where he remains one step behind Agent Graves.  This time Graves has given a briefcase to a young Chinese man who grapples with the choice to use it.

Pros: Azzarello's writing is solid and he delivers an interesting story, Risso's art remains excellent and he's a great visual storyteller, covers by Johnson are good (awesome trade cover BTW), the overall plot continues with some good side stories and a little history
The twins consider their potential future
as head of a house in The Trust - too
bad there can be only one

Cons: Not new-reader friendly, last story with the guy considering shooting someone was not my favorite

Mike Tells It Straight: Azzarello's crime noir masterpiece 100 Bullets reaches its tenth volume and the plot continues to thicken.  Lono is The Trust's new Warlord as appointed by Augustus Medici.  Graves continues to operate in the shadows, but what is his true purpose?  Writing and art are excellent in this volume.  It was a surprise to see Megan Dietrich after what happened in the last volume.  I'm not sure whose side anyone is on anymore and it's very exciting.

The usual disclaimer applies - this is the tenth volume of a series and readers should have some knowledge of the previous stories/characters in order to fully comprehend events.  A lot of old characters show up and interact with each other, but new readers will totally miss the significance.  The plot continues to progress with a few new characters and 'awakening' of others who have been around for a long time.  One of the best crime noir series out there and I'm looking forward to the closing chapters coming up (it lasted one hundred issues after all).  This particular volume was a worthy entry and the plot twists kept me interested.  Onward to the next chapter!

TO BUY and Recommendations: