The Suiciders HC from the Vertigo Imprint of DC Comics -
Los Angeles is done. Thirty years ago, the City of Angels was rocked by ta devastatingly massive earthquake, an earthquake that left the city crippled, in ruins, plagued by crime and left for dead by the rest of the United States of America. Now, New Angeles stands on the place where Los Angeles' proud skyline stretched upwards into the heavens. Situated inside nearly impenetrable walls, New Angeles has isolated herself from the surrounding areas and the from the U.S.A.. It stands alone, guarding its new-found prosperity night and day, and keeping hated undesirables out and turning the violence that the city cultivated after the Big One into a multibillion dollar entertainment industry. The Suiciders is a TV series in which futuristic gladiators, armed with bionically enhanced bodies, fight for survival against each other, and elaborate high-tech obstacles created to inflict maximum damage, or even kill. The top of the heap of the Suiciders in New Angeles is The Saint - he's the best there ever was - an undefeated, charismatic, hulking superstar who embodies the spirit of New Angeles, and who has captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere. But when a journalist finds that the Saint may not be exactly who he seems to be, how far will the corporations go to protect their investments...And just how long will the Saint's conscience bear the darkness of his past, the brutality of his present and the uncertainty of his future?
Lee Bermejo pens this very well written post-apocalyptic crime-noir. The Saint is half man, half machine, a titan who trods men underfoot, because that is the only way to be someone in this harsh new world. He is a brutal, yet very attractive, tragic character that won my sympathy, even as he ground his opponents to dust. He never seems overcome with violence, nor enamored by it - it was to a him a tragic circumstance, and a symptom of the rough world he inhabits. The Saint is a hulking beast of a man who seems like he has it all, but knows that he must bow to the whims of his fans, the city, and the corporations...He is nothing more than a prize slave - he is, much like the walled city he inhabits, nearly perfect on the exterior, but unstable and unsure within. This book is a journey, a story about a man who comes from nothing and becomes more than ever dreamed, while paying a cost that no one should ever pay. It asks the reader, " How much of yourself will you surrender for the American Dream?" So while this book is filled with Bermejo's DAZZLING artwork, backed by Matt Hollingsworth's lavish colors, and while this book is filled with cinematic action scenes of eye-popping violence, it is essentially a crime-noir, a character study and a pretty interesting, albeit heavy-handed, commentary on immigration. Well done, Bermejo. Well done.
RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
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