White Suits #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

Digging into memories, picking away at the scabs left behind by them reveal ghosts for some. Lingering visions from a faded experience lost to the years but resurfaced by the clawing to expose mysterious assassins and a beauty who is following behind. These are the violent realities in the mind of a broken agent, purpose unknown, legacy disconnected and separated into snaps of light and flashes of death and blood. After a history of dismantling the Cold War Soviet criminal underworld these strange figures have returned and a woman who is desperately looking for the truth behind her father’s disappearance will have to uncover who these shadows in white suits really are.

From Frank J Barbiere and Toby Cypress comes a new four issue mini-series, White Suits. Originally debuting in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, this new mini takes place years after the disappearance of the Cold War ravaging White Suits who have now returned in a slew of bullets, mayhem and dead mobsters. Fast-paced, thrilling and brutal, White Suits, from the writer of Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray and the artist responsible for Blue Estate, leaves a hail of bullets in its wake and a series of gripping questions that start this mini off running.

Written very introspectively, with a sinister narration at first eventually leading into break-neck action, this first issue offers a very wide variety to be devoured. Poetic inner-monologue, dire pleas of the hopeless before being gunned down and evil masterminds with frighteningly bleak eccentricities, this comic features many facets of crime fiction that display Barbiere’s effectiveness as a writer and that he has much hidden up his sleeve in terms of twists and revelations for the book. A lot of the story beats, like an amnesiac agent of a long since forgotten killer squad or a ruthless intelligence cell doing dark dealings in board rooms and writing each other off with unparallelled swiftness reminded me of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets with its layered mystery, violence and gritty atmosphere, written with all the flare of a classic crime comic.

Artistically this book is interesting, varied and original. Toby Cypress’ movements within the book are swift, erratic and punctuated as chaos and bloodshed erupt almost on each page. Characters exist and operate on an elastic scale like the work of Robbi Rodriguez (Federal Bureau of Physics) or Tradd Moore (Strange Talent of Luther Strode) which over exaggerates limbs and action with a beautiful and hyper-energetic style. Faces and expressions give off a desperation and vicious anger that delivers emotion through the panels, captivating you as you read through the book. Simultaneously, his colour work is exemplary, giving shades to a grimy and unforgiving world while highlighting action and attention adeptly with dark reds and the occasional sun burst from a gun barrel.

White Suits has a familiar feel to it, placing you alongside the dregs of the crime comic world, with clever writing and excellent art that brings a nice addition to the Dark Horse camps.

Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician and Wednesday warrior

Follow him on Twitter @Ghost_Factory

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