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Torso Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics; Gph edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582401748
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582401744
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Michael Bendis is an award winning comics creator and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last eleven years, Brian's books have consistently sat on the top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts.
Brian is currently helming a renaissance for Marvel's popular AVENGERS franchise by writing every issue of the NEW AVENGERS plus debuting the hit books MIGHTY AVENGERS and DARK AVENGERS along with the wildly successful 'event' projects HOUSE OF M, SECRET WAR, SECRET INVASION, and SIEGE.
This summer will see the blockbuster new line-ups for AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS.
Other recent projects include the groundbreaking SPIDER-WOMAN MOTION COMIC, that debuted number one on iTunes TV sales chart and the New York Times best selling HALO graphic novel.
Brian is one of the premiere architects of Marvel comic's Ultimate line of comics. A line of comics specifically created for the new generation of comics reader. He has written every issue of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN since it's best selling launch in 1999, and has also written ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR, X-MEN, MARVEL TEAM UP, ORIGIN, SIX and the ENEMY trilogy.
He is creator of the JINX line of crime comics published by image comics. This line has spawned the graphic novels GOLDFISH, FIRE, JINX, TORSO (w/ Marc Andreyko) and TOTAL SELL OUT.
Brian's other projects include the Eisner award winning "POWERS" (w/Mike Oeming) from Marvel's creator owned imprint ICON, and the Hollywood tell all "FORTUNE AND GLORY'. Entertainment Weekly gave both projects an "A." SONY and FX networks are currently developing POWERS for series with Brian as exec producer.
Brian is currently adapting his spy graphic novel FIRE for Universal Pictures as a starring vehicle for Zac Efron.
Brian is a member of Marvel studios creative committee, which consults on their numerous ongoing film projects. He has consulted on IRON-MAN and IRON MAN 2 and is currently consulting on THE FIRST AVENGERS: CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR and THE AVENGERS
Brian has won five prestigious EISNER awards, including 'Best Writer of the year' two years in a row. He has also won over two dozen Wizard comic awards. Brian is the recipient of the Cleveland Press 'Excellence in Journalism' Award and was named "Best Writer of the Year." by Wizard Magazine and Comic Buyer's Guide for three consecutive years.
He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Alisa, his gorgeous daughters Olivia and Sabrina and his dogs Lucky, Max and Buster.

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#81 in Books > Teens
#81 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
It's as atmospheric as your 10 favorite film noirs all rolled up into a ball.
Scott McFarland
The result is a cast of well-drawn characters, a good (and faithful, for the most part, to the truth) story, intriguing artwork, a fine script, and a bang-up mystery.
Robert Beveridge
Bendis uses some great narrative and visual effects in this story, including skewed page layouts and story panels that shuffle hither and yon.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm not usually that interested in serial killers, be they real or fictional, but I'll check out almost any graphic novel, and so I picked this up from the library recently. The book is a fictional recasting of the grisly "Torso Killer" murders that took place in Cleveland roughly between 1935-39. One aspect that makes it a touch more interesting is the involvement of Elliot Ness, fresh from his legendary "Untouchables"-leading, Capone-busting successes in Chicago. After the end of Prohibition, Ness left the G-men and was hired in 1935 by the city of Cleveland as Director of Public Safety. This coincided almost exactly with the emergence of a gruesome serial killer who decapitated and often dismembered his victims, leaving most of the remains in or near Lake Erie Sound. (Note: Contrary to what some reviewers have written, this was hardly the first serial killer in America. The first reliably documented serial killer operated in the 1890s in Chicago and was the subject of a very entertaining recent book, Devil in the White Castle.)

The story documents the initial investigation by a pair of tough-talking police detectives while Ness is busy purging the police department of corrupt cops. However, as the corpses start mounting up, the mayor forces Ness to take charge of the Torso case. The bulk of the book is then a pretty straightforward police procedural, as Ness and the lead detectives pursue various angles. The most notable of these is Ness' controversial decision to clear out a large shantytown of unemployed people and burn it to the ground in order to deny the killer an easy target population. The investigation is handled pretty well, with good pacing and great dialogue peppered with plenty of period slang.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Torso" is a great comic. Not being a huge fan of crime-fiction myself, I gave it a try based on Bendis's excellent work on the comic series "Powers." Also, I liked the idea of a real-life "super-hero" in Eliot Ness pitched against a real-life "super-villain" in the form of the Torso serial killer.
Like Alan Moore's "From Hell," Bendis took a real, unresolved case and weaved a drama around facts. His story-telling is realistic and gritty, and does not contain Moore's flights of fancy. I would have liked to have seen an appendix, separating the drama from the known facts, and why Bendis choose his particular culprit.
The art is not a strong initial attractor, but after reading a few pages it starts to flow. The mix of photos and drawings is effective.
This is really strong stuff, and I recommend it to comic fans and crime-fiction fans alike.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Murphy on March 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've read a few Bendis titles in the past and have been just okay with them. I ran across this one at the library and decided to give it a try. Absolutely stunning. This guy shouldn't waste his time with hero comics because when he's just okay with them. While getting his hands around historical crime, he just explodes into someone like a Caleb could only hope to be. This was on level with "From Hell" in the graphic world and Elroy's "Black Dahlia" in non-graphic, but lacking some of their depth. Well researched and well presented. It's a story I had never heard of and will definitely read more about in the future.
The presentation, which is something I rarely comment on in a graphic book, was unbelelievable. I loved the mixture of drawing with old photography. I was impressed with the authentic dialogue based on periodic idiomatic expressions. And the wording, I just came away so impressed with it. The way it was connected to visually cue your eyes to the graphics. And how it was always easy to follow the structure due to this, even though it was anything but the linear paneling we are used to with comics. One moment that is just spectacular is an interrogation of a potential suspect by Eliot Ness and how the format swirls around two pages leading into a metaphorical abyss. And you'll have to read a little more to understand that abyss comment.
Loved the ending! Loved the ending! Loved the ending! It may not meet the expectations of those that demand conclusion, but there was something so fundamental about the nature of power there that I just loved it.
Top 5 all time Graphic Novel. And who can ever compete with Sandman, so let's be real and say Top 4;)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on February 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm paying more and more attention to BMB lately, and I like what I see. This was initially due to the release of the Powers trade collection, and now we get Torso, one of Bendis' earlier works, and just as good.
This is a great dramatized account of a real event. Elliot Ness, fresh off of the Al Capone/Untouchables episode, has relocated to Cleveland, Ohio and becomes involved in the first serial killer case in the US. Bendis uses some great narrative and visual effects in this story, including skewed page layouts and story panels that shuffle hither and yon. Large panels and fadeouts between chapters give it a very cinematic feel. The black and white artwork is very simple and straightforward, incorporating photographs for scenery at times. Bendis also has a knack for writing extremely realistic dialogue. In fact, I can say that the dialogue is realistic almost to a fault. Put it this way: have you ever read a court transcript, with all the "ers", "ahs", and repeated words, and wondered "geez, do people actually talk like that? How does anything get said?" Sure enough, that's what Bendis uses here, and while it does give the story a more realistic feel, it can get a bit tedious at times. Don't get me wrong, though: the story flows very well, getting 2 thumbs up for pacing. The ending may or may not be a letdown, depending on how much you expect from this, but overall, it's an enjoyable read.
One thing that could have helped this book out, purely from the historical perspective, is more info on the case in the appendix. I'd like to have a better handle on who's who and what's what. But as it is, you get some brief writeups and crime photos, pretty interesting in their own right.
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