Bronx Kill HC Hardcover – Mar 23 2010
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
"This is prime pulp, with clockwork timing and mood to spare." (Publishers Weekly)" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Peter Milligan has written a dazzling variety of comics, including Shade, The Changing Man, Enigma and The Extremist. He is the current writer of Marvel's X-Force. He lives in the UK. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
After getting scathing reviews for his second novel, a young writer struggles to write a "good book" to regain the critics' praise he'd received for his first novel. Along the way, his wife mysteriously disappears. And so he looks for her. What happened to her? How did she disappear? What does this have to do with his family's history (read: secrets)?
The story is tight and keeps things moving. It flows naturally and nothing seems forced. The mystery is well executed, as are the reveals: some things you just don't see coming. True to Noir form, not everything is as it seems, and the good guys & the bad guys are not always who we think they are.
While it does the job for most of the book, occasionally the art could have been more polished. Some panels seem rushed. It's a minor complaint, as the art "issues" don't hamper the overall enjoyment of the story.
Bottom line: A tight mystery that could easily have been a Hitchcock movie, this book is a fine addition to a crime fiction lover's book shelf. Plus, at the online price of 15$ or so, you can't go wrong. Recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
At first, Milligan seems like an odd choice for a crime story series, considering his notoriety for offbeat comic titles such as Shade the Changing Man and Animal Man. But he also has a lengthy history of strong storytelling with a dark edge, and he knows how to utilize the comic format to achieve the greatest possible effect. These are the skills that shine through in The Bronx Kill, and make it an engrossing (dare I say riveting?) read.
Most notable is Milligan's deft handling of the story-within-a-story device, in this case featured as the excerpts of the novel that main character Martin Keane is working on; a novel with themes and obstacles that mirror events in his own life. This kind of device can feel cheap and gimmicky when used improperly, as can when writers make their main characters authors, but with Milligan this is never a concern. While some might remark that the manuscript excerpts scattered throughout the graphic novel read more like a short story than a full-length historical crime novel, consideration for the time and space constraints of the comic format make this less a flaw in writing than a necessity of design. With that aside, Milligan's tale flows smoothly, and feels like much more than an exercise in plot-twists or a rehash of an old Law & Order rerun.
What really separates The Bronx Kill from the previous entries in this series is not only Milligan's experience with comic books, but his respect for the format; where the previous novelists seem to simplify for the comic audience (almost talking down to them), Milligan creates a level of complexity to the characters and plot that should be expected from any decent crime story. Let's hope that Vertigo Crime approaches more comic veterans in the future, and avoids trying to rack up crime-novelist celebrity credits in an effort to cross-advertise. Some more entries like The Bronx Kill, and this might become an imprint to keep an eye on.
The art does what it's supposed to. It's not going to floor you, I doubt anyone will see the interior art and say "Got to pick up." But it serves the story okay, so it works. If good art is a must for you, then I'd suggest you search out a page or two first to see if this is something you'd be able to finish.
I really haven't enjoyed the Vertigo Crime series as much as I was hoping but maybe my expectations were too high. I would say that "Bronx Kill" is probably one of the better titles so far. If you are a fan of the crime genre comics then I'd recommend reading Bronx Kill. If you're new the scene then you might want to check out something like Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke first.
As the blurb says, Martin is a novelist working hard on a new book that's different from what he's written in the past after the complete critical failure of his second novel. He's spent his whole life trying to escape his family and the expectations of his father and the legacy of being in a long line of cops.
He marries and his wife develops a strong interest in his family history, the same one he's trying to forget. He doesn't understand her fascination with it, but it does bring up new questions for him. Why did his grandmother leave when her son, Martin's father was just a baby? Then Erin disappears. Suddenly Martin is in a situation where he needs help from the cop father he's mostly tried to avoid.
The story is interspersed with snippits of the book that Martin is working on which offer a look into his mind and how he's interpreting emotionally the questions and answers. It all works well together and flowed together more smoothly than I would have expected. The art is gritty and suits the story.
It is Vertigo so it is dark and more appropriate for mature readers because of language and adult situations. I won't let my daughter read it but I am recommending it to my husband.
I was less than impressed with the first Vertigo Crime title I read, Azzarello's Filthy Rich, so I came into The Bronx Kill with a bit of trepidation. I shouldn't have. Milligan, who's written for Hellblazer and Human Target, is paired with James Romberger, who's been working on Tales from the Crypt. Unlike Azzarello's title, this pairing is solid, and Romberger's rather spare style is a great match for Milligan's tale.
Martin is a writer. His father and grandfather before him were cops, and his father is disappointed that Martin hasn't gone into the family business. (Astute readers will pick up on a solid nod to Charles Bukowski's short story "My Old Man" at the beginning of this volume.) When Martin's wife disappears, he finds that maybe he's not as far from the family business as he'd like to be, and things only get worse when events in real life start dovetailing with the manuscript of his new novel, a historical-fiction tale Martin is using to explore the mysterious death of his grandfather.
Needless to say, this is noir, and as such you can expect pulp-fiction writing here. I don't consider that a weakness any more than I do in, say, Wilder's adaptation of Double Indemnity; it fits the material. Sure, it's overblown. Who cares? If I have a problem with The Bronx Kill, it's that there isn't enough of it. We get just enough of Martin and his wife visiting Martin's father at Christmas to establish that there's an odd family dynamic (and anyone who's brought the significant other to meet the folks and had said significant other say "I don't know why you hate them so, they seem fine to me" will identify with the discomfort that bleeds from that scene), but there could have been so much more. In every other encounter, it's just Martin and his father. We know what their dynamic is like. I understand why Milligan took the route he did, and at the end of the book you will as well, but that doesn't mean I don't want more of it, just like we all wanted more of Edward G. Robinson in Double Indemnity. *** ½
This was good but not great. I just recently gave up on Milligan's "Greek Street" title from Vertigo because I didn't think it was going anywhere--or it was taking too long to get where it is going; for that reason I can't say I am a huge Milligan fan, but I do respect him greatly.
This is the story of a whiny writer whose sophomore effort was panned by critics. He's having trouble writing novel number three despite the support of his wife and his agent. There are dark family secrets in his past...and he becomes obsessed with those secrets as his wife becomes obsessed with the Bronx Kill (a kind of trash dump by the river)...and the dark secrets come to life in surprising ways. (Don't want to ruin it for you). My biggest beef was that I found the bits of Martin's novel intrusive and unnecessary & the denouement was a little Greek.
As far as the art goes, I own "Seven Miles a Second" and if one can say that they "like" something so, at times, brutal in its honesty...I do like that and the art...here in black and white though it was just too scratchy and often you can't tell exactly what's going on or discern the expressions on people's faces.
Worth you time if you are a fan of either creator and a good entry in the Vertigo Crime series (which I HOPE they keep up with) but maybe not for everyone.