April 5, 2009

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100 Bullets Volume 4

Written by Brian Azzarello
Illustrated by Eduardo Risso
Vertigo

I said last time that I was running out of patience with Azzarello's racist depictions in 100 Bullets, and that if it didn't change soon, I'd be stopping my reading of the series.

Well, the depictions don't get much better, but they're at least minimal this time, so I did manage to make it all the way through another trade.

This one's a lot of smaller pieces threading together some of the story of the Trust and the Minutemen. They range from mildly interesting to pretty good, with the implied Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe story being the best of the bunch. There's also a story that contains pinups from Paul Pope, Dave Gibbons, and Frank Miller, as a man tries hard to unravel the secrets of the Minutemen.

The rest of the stories are pretty much "eh" for me--the opener has gratuitous gangster stuff so Azzarello can use his skills at writing African Americans, the second story is on a junkie who walks through his life to see where it went wrong, and story three is more closely related to the Trust. Graves starts working a bit closer to home, but we're off in another direction before we have time to think about it.

After the pinup story and the Dimaggio piece, we get a three-part story that seems to have no purpose whatsoever. Yes, Dizzy is involved, and yes, we have more low-level crime, but Graves doesn't appear (only his opposite number, Shepherd), and unless the scammer has a bigger role, this feels like a holding pattern, as did much of the trade.

Being honest, I'm pretty turned off this one, and am probably not the best person to be reviewing it as a result. I keep reading, though, to see what the others get in this that I definitely don't. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing it yet.