Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
The Violent #1
Brisson, Gorham & Garland
"The Violent" is a punch in the gut kind of comic book. The comic is about a family that is struggling to get by in the upside-down economy in Vancouver. The story is about a husband and wife that are battling money issues, drug addiction issues, jail issues and struggling in their own relationship with each other. The comic is a powerful read and looks like it has some strong potential to be a smash hit. I recommend checking this out.
Mason just got out of prison. He's working as a mover. He still feels the pull towards crime as he fights to stay straight and drug free. Becky is his loyal wife. She works nights cleaning office buildings and is struggling to stay drug free and keep her family together. They have a three-year-old daughter to go along with their money problems.
The comic mixes in situations to allow the reader to get to know the individual characters and also to loop in other characters that are pulling Mason and Becky off the straight and narrow. Crime, drugs and general bad judgment all play a role in the constant temptation to crush any hope Mason or Becky might have at holding themselves together.
I love the way the comic is constructed. The book opens with a few silent pages of Mason apparently staking out a house to rob. Becky finds him and they immediately start arguing. The reader never knows for sure what Mason was planning. The book carefully mixes in scenes where the characters are at their weakest, which is always alone, with scenes where they are together. They could draw strength while together but fighting with each other seems to win out.
The artwork is fantastic. The scene where the drug dealer confronts Becky on her way to work is a terrific visual display as it shades the background and characters in red. It's perfect. The comic also captures the characters well as you can visually watch the descent as the comic moves on through the scenes. This is a great visual story.
"The Violent" is a comic book that takes a struggling couple and throws every temptation it can at them. The pair are trying to stay off drugs, stay out of jail and make ends meet for their young daughter. Life has a way of finding your weaknesses and exposing them as is the case in this book. If you like reading comics that are about real people with some tough times playing out in the panels then this is the book for you. The title is a little misleading for this issue as there is hardly any violence in the comic. However, the story within is a very punch-in-the-gut kind of read. I highly recommend picking this up.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles