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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on April 24, 2013
I just finished reading 100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call and I just want to share my thoughts on here.

I came about this trade after reading an exceptional graphic novel, The Joker by Brian Azzarello.

I had researched online, where I've discovered that there was a significant amount of critical praise surrounding this series, so I decided to pick one up to test drive this crime drama. I'm glad I did!

The writing is rich, diverse, extensive, authentic and many other glowing adjectives. Azzarello have a unique voice and render a very attractive content, especially to those who are interested in the crime genre. This graphic novel belongs in the same vein, say the works of Quentin Tarantino. The dialogue in this graphic novel complements his earlier works such as Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown. This graphic novel also reminds me of the masterpiece crime drama epic Michael Mann's Heat (1995) [Blu-ray] and Martin Scorsese's well-crafted crime thriller The Departed [Blu-ray].

The basic premise or more appropriately, the "proposition" of the story is about a mystery man who calls himself Agent Graves (he looks kinda looks like Agent 47 from that Hitman video game) who approaches seemingly ordinary citizens who are down on their luck and are in the rough. Graves casually offers these civilians a chance at revenge with a briefcase that contains a gun and 100 "untraceable" bullets.

100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call collects issues #1-5

The story started out a bit slow, but things really start to pick up later on, it certainly feels like a masterpiece in the making. The bigger picture unfolds as you read on.

I am slowly becoming addicted to this series and I think I just might as well buy the whole Hardcover Deluxe Edition on here.

So yeah, 100 Bullets is definitely worth taking a look! It's really refreshing to read something other than the Super Hero genre. It's a great escape from the "Capes" (I follow Batman). Reading something that have intelligence and an unique voice is truly a joy; something that elevates us mentally and emotionally is very pleasurable.

For something just as uniquely different and refreshing I suggest John Layman's Chew Volume 1: Tasters Choice

I hope this helps! Cheers!

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on October 19, 2001
There are three stories in First Shot, Last Call, connected by the presence of the mysterious Agent Graves. Graves approaches someone to whom some injustice has been committed and gives them a briefcase. The briefcase contains a photo of whomever committed the injustice, proof that they did it, information as to their whereabouts, a gun -- and one hundred completely untraceable bullets. No law enforcement agency can touch the owner of that gun and those bullets -- from that moment on, they are above the law, free to determine how they will use the power and information they have been given.
The premise is unbelievably cool, and Brian Azzarello does not disappoint in exploring it. His plotting is very strong, with layers of intrigue, plotting and betrayal. You don't find out a lot about Agent Graves, or the organization that he works for, in this book, but there are hints of subplots that connect the tales of the different recipients of the gun.
The characters in 100 Bullets are all morally conflicted -- even the ones you like have likely done something unpleasant in their lives. They're pretty well-drawn for appearing in only a few issues, and the dialogue is good as well -- I can't tell you how realistic it sounds, because there's a lot of slang and accents that I am frankly unfamiliar with, but nothing sounds ridiculous, and the dialogue carries off the tension of the confrontations between would-be avengers and potential victims well.
The art is well done. Dave Johnson's covers are gorgeous, and Eduardo Risso has a good sense of storytelling. Some of his perspectives seem a bit warped to me, but that's more a personal thing, I think. I should mention Grant Goleash's coloring -- he does a lot with monotone panels, shadows, and lighting to set the tone of the book. This is definitely a comic noir, one with a great premise and solid writing, so if that's your cup of tea, check this out.
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on July 18, 2000
If you could get away with murder -- would you have the balls to do it? That's the question that the often brilliant 100 BULLETS asks -- and its answers may surprise you.
The first collection of the DC Comics/Vertigo series 100 BULLETS, written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Eduardo Risso, is a truly stunning read. Azzarello and Risso, who first worked together on another DC/Vertigo comic, JOHNNY DOUBLE, have created an utterly original work in this ongoing series, and it's a work worth taking note of.
Azzarello's talents are manifold, but perhaps his most remarkable skill is his flair for utterly realistic dialogue -- when you open 100 BULLETS, you'll swear that you'd been transported to wherever it is the action is set, be it a Hispanic barrio(as is the case in the first, three-issue story)or a ratty old bar (as is the case in the second, two-issue story). Every word spoken is absolutely perfect -- and, better yet, there's no unecessary or overly expository dialogue -- every word on the page fits and if it doesn't always explain everything, well, that's part of the grand design.
Of course, Azzarello's skills aren't limited merely to dialogue; he's able to create a handful of truly fascinating characters in just a few pages -- from the mysterious and sinister Mr. Graves to the downtrodden and betrayed Dizzy to the framed and broken bartender man in the second story to the cool and mesmerizingly evil mainipulative woman in that story. And while both of the stories stand very well on their own, there are also hints of an overacring plot in the background, too.
I mustn't forget to praise the astonishing work of Risso, though. The book's amazing immersive qualities are due in no small part to his artwork, which captures everything from a dirty, dismal, gang-infested neighborhood to a corporate office with style to burn and loads of substance. His darkness-tinged artwork also adds substantially to the gritty, realistic feel of the comic. And, finally, Risso's art wouldn't look half as good as it does without Grant Goleash's stunning colors, which bring his pencil-and-ink artwork to stunning life.
This specific collection of 100 BULLETS (FIRST SHOT, LAST CALL, collecting the first five issues of the ongoing series and a short story from the Vertigo WINTER'S EDGE III anthology) also features Dave Johnson's stylish, angular cover artwork, an insightful introduction by comics legend Jim Steranko, and a back cover loaded with glowing praise from fellow comic writers. Don't be a fool and miss out on this brilliant series while it's still young -- this is one comic that never misses its mark.
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on May 1, 2002
100 Bullets is a great concept, one that could work in almost any format, be it TV, film, short story, novella, or comics. The second of the two major stories presented here worked best for me. It was simpler, less cluttered than the first one. 100 Bullets works extremely well as separate episodic storylines, as opposed to a major multi-issue story arc, similar to the more memorable Tales From The Crypt, or Twilight Zones. One aspect of 100 Bullets that really stands out is the incredible, multi-aspect art of Eduardo Risso. Risso's varying views from above, below, behind, and right in front of the action, greatly enhance the movement and ultimate success of these stories. I look forward to reading the next installments.
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on January 3, 2001
I didn't pick up this series when it first was released mostly because the 100 Bullets preview DC/Vertigo put out wasn't very good. But after a few months of critical acclaim, I was interesting in seeing what people raving about. To my surprise, this volume was better than the preview, ten fold. The impression the preview leaves, makes you think 100 Bullets was yet another episodic noir crime series, but there is a brilliant over-arcing conspiracy laden storyline that takes many unexpected turns and Brian Azzarello writes some mean and punchy dialogue. This is the type of book that will make you swear off superhero comics for good.
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on June 13, 2004
I agree with the person who said that the dialogue wasn't that stylised. There were a couple of cornball moments, but the whole story line over all is great and full colour artwork rocks my socks. I can't wait to read the rest of the series! Highly recommended to anyone even remotely interested!
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on January 19, 2004
The start of this collection was a bit muddled, but once I got used to the art and writing, it became extremely enjoyable. The second story is better than the first, but the overall mystery/conspiracy is something that has me very anxious to read later volumes.
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