Zachary Clayton

White Suits #1: Vodka, Guns, and Blood

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The good old gritty crime drama.  The format for these stories has been around for damn near one hundred years.  You probably know the formula for a story like this, and don’t even realize it.  The environments are some of the easiest to recognize as well. Gloomy weather, seedy alleys, dark rooms, smoke filled bars, jazz music, cheesy one-liners, hard alcohol, and over-dramatized looks are the norm in these stories.  The White Suits definitely knows the formula, giving us all of these elements within just the first issue.

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The White Suits #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Toby Cypress
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release date: February 19, 2014

Buy your own copy of White Suits #1.

Read Adrienne’s review of The White Suits #1 here.

This book for me was all about the art.  While it was a bit more abstract than what I usually like, it fits the subject matter nicely.  The artwork is a brilliant display of a water-color style, and given the limited pallet Toby Cypress uses for this title, I was quite impressed.  While using only black, white, red, and shades thereof, Cypress does a great job in conveying the moodiness and grittiness of the environment around these characters.  He also incorporates  a large amount of the dynamic camera angles that I really love.  Some of his shots in this book are good enough to hang on a wall.

While I haven’t read a crime drama in years, (unless you count Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank) I feel that Frank Barbiere has read his fair share.  We get a good textbook cast for this so far; the villain turned protagonist with amnesia, the mysterious dame out for revenge who knows secrets, the stereotypical cartel bad guys, and the big bad guys out to eliminate everyone in their way.  I love the dialogue as well, “She’s been watching me for over a month…hidden in plain sight…she’s good.  It doesn’t matter.  If she really knew anything about me…she’d know that I’m better.  Tonight I get some answers.” All the dialogue is over-dramatized, which just makes a book like this even more fun.

It’s also, very well paced to keep you from reading to fast and help you revel in the mood of the story.  It’s cool that Barbiere is throwing a bit of the old cold war in this title, by having the mysterious ‘White Suits’ somehow tied to the Soviet Underworld.  Who are they?  Ex-KGB still acting on old orders?  Or just a thorn in the underbelly of international criminals everywhere?  Or maybe they just want all the business for themselves.

Really dramatic stuff, and if you’re into these kinds of stories, Barbiere’s writing should be write up your alley. Just don’t go down it alone.

Check out this title and other awesome books from Dark Horse Comics!!

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