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Saturday, February 16, 2008

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: 12 Bullets Left

In about a year the final bullet will have been fired. The conclusion to the decade long series 100 Bullets will finally be told. And while some people may have fallen to the wayside and there may be those who wish to detract from it's greatness, there are still those who anxiously await each and every issue (like myself). Many have said that the book reads better in trade and while I may not agree I am of the opinion that no matter how you consume the series the important thing is that you do consume it. That you do fiend for it's gritty shadowed streets and it's chilled hardened hearts, that you hunger for each clouded consciences and every veiled intention. But there have been those who have fallen to the wayside and wish to be detractors and often they say that the book "has no answers" and that the series is "too confusing" and to them I say to rush back to your spoon fed fiction that holds your hand all along the way and leave me with my dense, intricate, masterpiece. Those who have abandoned the series are, in my mind, those who would quit reading a mystery novel before the final page has been turned because they didn't have "all the answers". If the kind of experience you are looking for in a comic book is the cut and dry of most (not all) comics where the good guys and bad guys are clearly defined and each and every conflict is tied up with a little multi-colored very politically correct bow that is impossible to consider offensive to even the most jaded of readers then continue along your merry way and never open the pages of this series. However, if what you are looking for is the kind of gritty noir tale most often relegated to the likes of James Ellroy novels then welcome home. If you are looking for a series that has the kind of dialog that flows like the smoky poetry of the streets then welcome home. If you are looking for the kind of series where the art can turn on a dime from breathtakingly beautiful to terrifyingly violent then welcome home. If you are looking for a series that will challenge the very notion of what you know is true and good about comics, art, fiction, storytelling, and life itself then welcome home. What Brian Azzarello has done is create a world inhabited by people who seems as full of features and flaws as any real person you have ever met. And in his pairing with Eduardo Risso he has found someone who can create both the sublimely beautiful and the humbly human ... A true artist. This is a series that demands the attention of it's reader and rewards re-readings.

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