Featured Review: United States vs. Murder, Inc. #1

by Carl Bryan
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Created by: Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming

Colors: Taki Soma

Letters: Carlos Mangual

Design: Curtis King Jr.



From the Eisner Award-winning creators of POWERS comes a crime-infused blast
of alternate history. Years ago, the five families of organized crime had such a stranglehold over the American public that the U.S. government found itself forced to give up part of the country or lose all of it. Now the unrest between America and the families has come to a boil. A war is about to come—a war no one is ready for. Newly made man Valentine Gallo and mob hitwoman Jagger Rose find themselves torn over which side of the war they want to be on.


Bendis’ work seems very Disney formula in that we immediately see a young lady lose her parent, but he takes a turn and immediately gives her the gratification of revenge in just a few panels.  This is not a story of revenge, but one of when a child is allowed to go with their gut and embrace the dark emotions that come from losing a parent.

Bendis provides a retrospective account of Jagger’s father’s plunge to a gruesome death through her eyes.  The reader is left with a lot of questions as to where Jagger’s mother is, who is Uncle Jake, and why in a year’s span does he lose an eye?  At first glance, I thought this was going to be on the Teen Titans cartoon side with Mack and Soma’s renderings, but I can’t see this story being told without having the cartoon panels drawn the way they are done.

Bendis provides a great cliffhanger at the conclusion of the issue, thus sucking the reader more into Jagger’s story.  I can’t help but think there is some sort of collision course with this and Scarlet #1, which Bendis released last month.  Time will tell.



Don’t let the art work take you down a path of thinking this is too cartoonish.  I see as Jagger grows, the penciling, etc will take on a sharper adult look.  No real negatives here, but a lot of open holes left to be filled, so let’s hope the ride continues.  I’m not sure of the title, but maybe time will tell in that question as well!



If you like a good origin story that is going to have a lot of layers, then this may be the journey for you.  Bendis’ work is proven over time, and this should be a fun ride!


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