Loveless, Volume 2.: Thicker than Blackwater

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In the title story of this second volume by 100 Bullets writer Azzarello of his jet-black, ultraviolent western set in a corrupt Reconstruction-era town, the universally despised, mean-as-a-polecat new sheriff (and former Confederate soldier) Wes Cutter sets about investigating a series of gruesome murders. But the motives and victims are intimately tied to the town's muddy history, and Cutter finds himself targeted as the next job for the undertaker. The main story is preceded by three shorter character sketches, fleshing out Cutter's personal history as well as the backstories of his wife, Ruth, and a former slave turned bounty hunter, Atticus Mann. The stories are built around a series of flashbacks in which colorist Patricia Mulvihill's palette shifts from dusty, twilit tones to sunbaked sepia. The artwork—two chapters drawn by series cocreator Marcelo Frusin, the rest by Daniel Zezelj and Werther Dell'edera—is as stylized and chiaroscuro-laden as a vintage noir movie. What trips up Azzarello's story, though, is its combination of nastiness and understatement—there's a lot more cussing and bleeding than there is exposition. The book's deep shadows, oblique images and thick dialect impede clarity, and it takes several readings to even make sense of the brutal, surprising conclusion. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up Following the establishment of Wes Cutter as sheriff of Blackwater, MO, in Loveless: Kin of Homecoming (DC Comics, 2006), this collection opens with a series of three single-issue backstories for each main character-Wes, a former Confederate soldier; his wife, Ruth; and Atticus, a former slave. The stories differ in the depth of their revelations, Atticus's providing some perspective on African Americans' roles in the Union army, and Ruth's giving further information about her relationship with Wes's brother. The book then moves on to show Wes's first maneuvers as sheriff, giving further evocation but still no detail as to the shape and extent of his long-term plan. His particular schemes are shunted aside by the arrival of a brutal bounty hunter hired by the town elders to kill both Wes and a man who'd been hired by a company with ties to the North. The previous volume made up for its slow-burning story with an abundance of atmospheric artwork, which was particularly effective due to the textured coloring. This book has a more muted tone due to frequent night sequences, extended sepia-tone flashbacks, and three different artists with whom the colorist demonstrates varying degrees of comfort. The presence of multiple artists also tends to obscure clarity as to who's who, as characters not only change appearance between the current setting and the past, but also from illustrator to illustrator. The book is provocative, and has some compelling perspectives on a challenging time in history, but the muddled storytelling and obscure plot mechanics make it an unsatisfying read.-Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401212506
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Loveless Series , #2
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 10.17 (h) x 0.48 (d)

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