100 Bullets: Split Second Chance BOOK review [Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso]

Book Reviews
100 Bullets: Split Second Chance BOOK review [Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso]
Dec 1, 2000, 03:13

100 BULLETS: SPLIT SECOND CHANCE by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, DC/Vertigo Comics, 2001

I'd be more tempted to believe Howard Chaykin's accolade to 100 Bullets (“Thanks are overdue to both of these guys for producing the most exciting comic book in years.”) if the man had produced anything worth reading since American Flagg went off the air. Yet, while his comment is a bit hyperbolic, he's not altogether wrong. This comic book is exciting. At first glance, it looks like yet another book that owes its existence (artistic and otherwise) to Sin City, that blotch on the face of comic books, but it turns out there's a bit more there. The basic gist of 100 Bullets is that there's a mysterious back/under/above ground organization that makes appearances in wronged people's lives, offering them a gun with 100 bullets and carte blanche to deal their own version of justice.

Needless to say, there's a master plan behind the whole thing. The organization (the Minutemen), seems to consist of one Agent Graves, the man who doles out the guns, a mysterious and violent office, and assassins who live innocuous, innocent lives for years before being “reactivated” with a word or phrase.  Azzarello and Risso have a good sense of tempo and drop new pieces of information in front of their readers slowly and invitingly. 100 Bullets: Split Second Chance ends up being one of the few action comic books I've found myself reading for plot in the last year.

Which isn't to say that 100 Bullets is without fault. Rizzo's art is somewhat uneven, though when it's good, it's pretty spectacular, and Azzarello ends up creating such an interesting back story that the master plot is often more compelling than the topics, but for all that, this is still a comic worth reading from front to back. 

-Jason Cons

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