Publisher: Boom Studios
Story: Bryce Carlson
Art: Vanessa R. Del Rey
Colours: Archie Van Buren
Cover: Ryan Sook
Review by Patrick McAleer
Hit #3 from Boom Studios is another strong installment in this excellent series from writer Bryce Carlson and artist Vanesa R. Del Rey.
I don’t want to spoil too much in this series as you really should pick it up, so here goes… We saw at the end of issue #2 how our central hero Slater learned just who was pulling the strings in the conspiracy that that saw several of his colleagues end up with toe tags. This third issue opens with a focus on the man responsible and shows how he’s been playing Slater and the boys all along in order to get them to rid the streets of the competition for his criminal enterprise. Slater and Sticky plan to bring him down but as the issue progresses we see how the best laid plans often go awry.
This issue also treats us to a bit more background on the Schwartz murder case that was a side plot in the first two issues. Things turn out not to be so cut and dry as Slater and Sticky run into a gunfight trying to pick up a second perp for those murders.
Things between Bonnie and Slater are taking a decidedly Double Indemnity style turn. Falling in love over booze and bodies is the blueprint for a doomed relationship.
The pacing of this issue is yet again excellent as writer Bryce Carlson has a movie maker’s touch. With every scene, be it an interrogation, a stake out or downtime between two lovers, each is perfectly weighted and with its own level of tension and suspense. And as I stated in an earlier review, the location graphics across the panelling for each new scene evoke a cinematic feel to the series. His dialogue is snappy, never overbearing, and Carlson gives you just enough. He has such an economy with words that it recalls the master himself, Dashiell Hammett.
What more can I say about Vanesa R. Del Rey’s art that I haven’t in earlier reviews? It is quite simply, superb. As are the colours from Archie Van Buren, particularly during the night-time sequences, where tension fills the air alongside the cigarette smoke. A single street lamp here, a car tail light there or a solitary cigarette lights the gloomy darkness as the we reach the book’s thrilling end.
The cover is again another belter from Ryan Sook: at night two lovers taking a smoke break atop a car bonnet whilst just ahead lit by the headlights is the body they’re disposing of. Awesome stuff.
With one issue left to go I don’t think I’m jumping the gun in saying that Hit has to be miniseries of the year. A smoky, whiskey soaked tale of police corruption in the sordid underbelly of 1950’s Los Angeles. It’s a masterly piece of storytelling by someone with an obvious love for the era and locale. That Bryce Carlson managed to snare the talents of Del Rey and Van Buren to bring his story to life means that for noir fans, we are as close as it gets to comic book heaven.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.