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100 Bullets Vol. 5: The Counterfifth Detective Paperback – March 1, 2003
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Set in a brutal world of tough guys and glamorous dames, the noir comic-book 100 Bullets revolves around a pulpy but potent premise: enigmatic Agent Graves offers wronged persons briefcases; each contains an untraceable gun and 100 rounds of ammunition, giving the recipient the means to avenge themselves and elude punishment. While depicting the fates of Graves' beneficiaries, the series has slowly parceled out information about the shadowy organization behind the agent. In this fifth collection (hence the tricky title), small-time PI Milo Garret learns from Graves that the automobile crash that left Garret with an Invisible Man-style bandaged face and holes in his past was no accident, and he decides it's payback time. The elegant simplicity of Risso's shadowy, atmospheric art perfectly suits Azzarello's sparse, hardboiled scripts; this is one of the most effective writer-artist teams in comics. Although sardonic, violence-addicted Garret is the focus here, characters from previous episodes reappear, keeping this from being the ideal entrance-point to the series. Gordon Flagg
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About the Author
Brian Azzarello, noted for developing strong stories with a psychological edge, is the Eisner Award-winning writer of 100 Bullets adn Hellblazer. He previously teamed with Richard Corben on BANNER for Marvel.
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Top Customer Reviews
The fifth volume of the 100 Bullets series is something new for Azzarello, at least within the scope of this series, and it's quite refreshing. This is more classic-noir style than the rest of the series, something Azzarello doesn't normally do. I can't say it's a surprise to see that he does it well (after all, he treaded the line, without ever going across it, in Hellblazer: Freezes Over), but it's a surprise to see that he does it, overall, better than most of the things he does. And Azzarello does everything well.
As most noir does, The Counterfifth Detective starts out with-- what else?-- a private investigator (whom we saw receive his hundred bullets in the background in A Foregone Tomorrow). Milo Garret's stay in the hospital, he finds, wasn't an accident, and Graves has offered him the opportunity to get even. From there, you have the basic revenge storyline that informs most standalone 100 Bullets stories, but filtered here through Dashiell Hammett and a dirty sweat sock.
The best volume so far. If you haven't discovered 100 Bullets yet, you want to. *** ?