Introduction:From The Press Release:
The story of a master thief who gives up a luxurious and thrilling life of crime to try to salvage everything he lost -- his family and a life above ground -- by leaving it all behind, THIEF OF THIEVES launched on February 8. Prior to sale, there was wide interest in Kirkman bringing a television-style writing process to comics. A team of writers helps to refine the story of THIEF OF THIEVES, with Kirkman at the helm to guide the story.
VitalsTitle: Thief of Theives #1
Story: Robert Kirkman
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Shawn Martin Brough
Colors: Felix Serrano
Letters: Rus Wooton
Content: Thief of Thieves is a mature ages book and contains, violence, language, and adult situations.
Publisher: Skybound (An Imprint of Image Comics)
Story:Redmond is a master thief, a man who can aquire anything you desire…for the right price. He heads up a team of thieves, con men, and general ne’ er-do-wells that look up to Redmond as a mastermind that gets them paid on a regular basis. His latest acquisition has put him in the sights of a Countess that would do him bodily harm if she can get her hands on him.
Things go backwards and forwards in time as we see the relationship between Redmond and his “apprentice” Celia unfold as to how they met and began to work together. Seems he admired her spunk and a lack of a moral compass and she had a kid to feed. It was a match made in heaven.
Now it is time to move onto the next job, a job that is bigger than any they have done before and is costing their employer millions of dollars to pull off. Things are set to move forward when Redmond throws a wrench into the mix of things with an announcement that will rock the foundation of this little band of thieves.
Review:Having followed a lot of Robert Kirkman’s other work, especially The Walking Dead, I am always interested to read new yarns that these wordsmiths pump out. It would seem that many of the long time creators are working to create a new realm of comic books as a part of their body of work. A direction that I think fellow creator Ed Brubaker has taken with Fatale and his new comic that is a mix of horror and crime noir. Brubaker has hit one out of the park so how does Kirkman’s new tale fare?
One thing to note is that Kirkman isn’t the full fledged writer of the comic, but is acting more as a producer. He is credited with a “Story By” tagline and Nick Spencer (Morning Glories writer) is taking up the writing duties. It is a very interesting move on behalf of Kirkman and as long as the quality is kept up across the board with this and other projects, I'm behind it.
The writing was well done with some great character developments. I felt Spencer did a good job of making us like Redmond and Celia, giving them just enough humanity that we could identify with them and root for their misdeeds. They have the vibe of an anti-hero in the making, being more than just an evildoer setting out to take from whomever they want to.
The art was crisp and stylized and this was something that gave it the feel of a modern day cinematic thief tale and I felt it was very fitting. One critique is that I felt artist Shawn Martin Brough used the clear background a bit too much and sometimes the emotion of the scenes, especially the final ones, weren’t as strong as they could have been.
First issues have a lot to do to keep readers interested. They need to set up the world, characters, basic plot, and the point of the story in just around twenty-two pages. This is a hard thing to do in today’s world of instant media gratification. Kirkman, Spencer, and Brough went with an interesting tact of giving us qualities to like about the main characters, as well as the thrust of the main series, but didn’t get into the particulars of why. I’m usually a bit miffed when I don’t get my answers soon enough, but I felt this was actually a good tact that will bring readers back for the second issue to see what the impact of Redmond’s announcement will truly be and what his motives for it are. The last panel had me asking, “Is that it?” It also made me want more, a good thing in the comic book industry I think.