I’m not the biggest fan of crime comics — I like them, but am not compelled to read a whole lot of them with the notable exceptions of series like Stray Bullets and Sin City, neither of which seems likely to return soon. (I was going to include 100 Bullets in that comment, but I just saw there’s a Brother Lono sequel miniseries coming soon ... .)
But Robert Kirkman’s Thief of Thieves is a really fun read. This second arc (issues #8-13, Image Comics, $2.99 each) is, I think, better than the first. This arc sees master thief Conrad Paulson, a.k.a. Redmond, in some family trouble as his son, Auggie, gets in deep trouble trying to follow in his old man’s footsteps. That sets up some conflict with his ex-wife and the cops trying to nail him. Of course, Conrad has to step in when Auggie’s girlfriend is kidnapped and the best-laid plans fall victim to Murphy’s Law.
None of this is particularly innovative stuff, but it’s very slickly done. The characters are believable and their motivations clear. It’s also not too bogged down by details and arcane politics. It’s an easy series to get into and follow, with nice, spare scripting from James Asmus.
The art by Shawn Martinbrough is a major selling point. His style is modern, clear and moody but not as cartoony or abstract as a lot of crime comics seem to be. He’s also doing all the art, on every issue to date, with coloring by Felix Serrano. That gives the book a consistent look that way too many comics fail to achieve.
My thought after finishing the arc was that this would make a great TV series for USA Network, where it would fit in very nicely alongside Burn Notice and White Collar. It looks like exactly that idea is in the works at AMC, which makes sense with that network being home to Kirkman’s mega-hit The Walking Dead.
That this comic is published on a regular schedule is also something very much worth noting. It’s just another factor that makes this an interesting read and a title very much worth picking up.