Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colors: Taki Soma
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Design: Curtis King Jr.
“Tell me about the time….the moment you decided to make ME an undercover agent for the FBI.” – Valentine to his recovering Mother
Valentine’s on the run after witnessing Jagger assassinating the president on behalf of the family! Jagger is still out of sight. And Valentine had a kill spree severing his ties with the FBI and drawing himself closer to the family ties of Bonavese clan! In an alternative history set in a world where the five families of Murder, Inc. never gave up power, this sexy crime thriller takes you somewhere you’ve never seen in comics. From writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming, the Eisner Award-winning creators of POWERS, comes another brand-new chapter of THE UNITED STATES VS. MURDER, INC.
Valentine has a sit down with his mother who is recovering from the attack from the US on the Bonavese clan. As she tells Valentine of how she and his father fell in love and the revelations of how violent his father’s family is, she yearned for her son to have a life “out there” away from the family, However, she knows that Valentine is the “tether” to the family. But Valentine is angry at his mother and puts the blame on her for his father’s death. As the panels grow darker and darker, Valentine pulls a gun on his mother and places it close to her temple to kill her as members of the Bonavese family look on. As close as he comes to pulling the trigger, he doesn’t. But the emotional pain is there and he has entered into full revenge mode for how his life has now turned out.
Meanwhile, there is such rampant fear around the United States that no one wishes to have the job of President. And that throws the country into disarray!
Taki Soma colors this issue perfectly. We see illustrations with bright orange in a reunion of mother and son. And the flashback scenes of her youth are so bright and vibrant, but he flips the switch in Bendis’ storyline and it turns dark really fast. The art conveys Bendis’ storyline perfectly.
It took me a while to buy into the pencils of Oeming, but the storyline is so dark that an artist doesn’t need to go all “Mary Worth” in the dramatic art. The story is solid and the art is too! And things are heating up for an all out war!
And on the US side of the coin, there lies the comic relief as no one wishes to assume the mantle of the Presidency!
I said it last issue and I’ll say it again. No Jagger and that makes me sad! She is the reason I got into this story and I have had a two issue diet of Jagger, so I need her return to be epic!
This series is in its infancy and there is still time to get caught up and get on the Murder Inc train! In this world of “binge watching”, a new reader seriously needs to check out this series as it is dark and gritty! Cheers to Bendis for creating an alternate universe for these characters to play in!