7 days of comics and why you should read them, Wednesdays choice – 100 Bullets

Midweek, and assuming I‘m reading after work, the week is over half done, so excitement abounds. By this stage in the week I want to get into something a little closer to home and something that gets me thinking. That’s not to say that the previous two don’t make me think, but 100 Bullets, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso demands some serious brainpower.

Synopsis:

Something in your life has gone horribly wrong. A man arrives at your door in a smart suit, bearing a briefcase. Contained within it are a gun, bullets and evidence that conclusively proves that your recent hardship can be blamed on X. The question is that if you could kill X with the knowledge that you aren’t going to get caught, would you do it?

Why I love it:

As a concept, it’s deliciously nasty and imaginative, whilst being thoroughly simple to understand. It also poses the sort of moral questions that can keep you up at night. The particular strength in this series for me was the development of the story. I’ve spoken Monday and Tuesday about the importance of character development to serialized fiction but the growth of the plot is also paramount. 100 Bullets starts off as a series of one-shots, the same scenario played out with different characters that react in different ways. However, as the strands are gently teased and pulled, so the big picture is slowly brought into focus. Questions are thrown into the air and left hanging for the reader to grab hold of and figure out the answer, sometimes waiting for months or years for the clues. The strength of the writing, and the intrigue created kept me searching for the answers, although, as with life, they were never delivered neatly. The payoff was well worth the wait, but it was the hunting for the answers that kept me reading. Kind of like Lost, only it made sense and was really satisfying.

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