THE UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC. #1
The latest creator owned venture by the Powers team of Brian Bendis (A.K.A. Goldfish, All-New X-Men) and Michael Avon Oeming (Powers). It is a crime thriller set in a world where the Mafia is fully in charge…of damn near everything. This is BMB at his absolute best, writing well-paced crime fiction. It isn’t all grim and fatalistic though. There is a sense of humor and wit splattered throughout the proceedings. A perfect example of the entertaining smartass on display can be found early on when main character Valentine is having a heart to heart with his Mom or getting his balls busted during his initial meeting with Tuzzo.
Kicking off with a ceremony to elevate Valentine into the role of a newly made man, the book is filled with enough irreverent bastards and sons of bitches to fill a punk rock remake of Scorsese’s Mean Streets. Jagger Rose is hands down one of the coolest new characters in comics. Tough, no nonsense, lacking a verbal filter, and whatever you do, DO NOT CALL HER THE FUCKING BARTENDER.
There’s mystery, a bombshell, or two — pun intended — and a twist at the end you won’t see coming.
The visuals by Oeming, with colors by his wife Taki Soma (Rapture), is a sort of pop art-meets-deco meets-anime look that really gives the scenes some vibrancy. There is an elegance to the violence he depicts and the panel layouts on some pages remind me of Matt Wagner’s Grendel.
Bendis does a nice bit of world building in this oversized first issue. The hooks are there and you’ll want to come back to get deeper in this mob ruled world. To paraphrase fellow Dartmouth grad Michael Corleone, If you think you’re going to get out, this book will just pull you back in. (“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in” – Actual Line, Hollywood Monsignor Moody)
Okay that was pretty friggin’ terrible. I’m gonna’ blow like the wind. Youse guys go read the friggin’ comic.
(Turn the page for another FOC sure-shot and an Uprising message from our “Minister of the DCU”!)