Friday, January 8, 2016

Sheriff of Babylon #1 Review

The Sheriff of Babylon #1 from the Vertigo Imprint of DC Comics -

   Christopher was a cop in NYC when the Twin Towers came down. Feeling heavy guilt for what occurred on his watch, he became a government contractor, training the Baghdadi police to protect and serve its city once again. It's hot in the Green Zone, and Saffiya al Aqani is accustomed to the heat. Her father was a founding member of Saddam's Ba'ath Party; but of course, he and all her family were promptly killed when Saddam took power, paranoid bastard that he was. Saffiya alone escaped, as she was a student at the time in a school in the U.S.. Chris has come to serve; Saffiya has returned, with the aid of friends in high places in the American Government, to take back what is rightfully hers. When one of Chris' Iraqi cops is killed, it puts him and Saffiya on a collision course that will shake the Green Zone to its very core.

   Tom King writes this simmering, low-key, classic crime-noir set in Baghdad in 2004. The story is complex, winding in on itself, with an unconventional antagonist - a puppet-master really - at its core, along with a tough, but big-hearted idealist who is out of his depth. You can already tell this clash will be pretty epic, and I've already got an idea who is going to lose. I will tell you from experience that politics, culture, and naivet√© will get you dead, like fast, in Iraq. Mitch Gerads tells the story cinematically with his sharp, kinetic art - this book looks like it was made for the big screen. I don't know who Tom King is, but it is clear that he knows what the hell he is talking about rather intimately. I think I'll stick around to see how this one pans out.

RATING: 9 out of 10.

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