24 April 2006


Premise: Elliot Ness hunts for a serial killer in 1930's Cleveland.

Comic-book creators and Cleveland natives Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko originally conceived this thriller as a screenplay (their attempts to pitch this film to studios is amusingly chronicled in Bendis' Fortune And Glory). While waiting to see how successful the pitches were, Bendis wrote and drew this comic, which is a taut, gripping piece of hard-boiled detective fiction based on actual events. The characters speak in a 1930's lingo that is almost poetic. The art is spare and stark. Characters are rendered simply, and shadows are used to great effect. At times, he uses actual photos taken from archives, but this effect is used sparingly.

Of particular note is Bendis' portrayal of Ness. Over the years, he has become an almost mythical figure. Here, he is seen as a good man who may have bitten off more than he can chew. Bendis does an excellent job of humanizing this historical figure while at the same time taking nothing away from his accomplishments.

Recommended For: Fans of Seven, Silence of the Lambs, The Untouchables, and/or James Ellroy novels; history buffs; people who are fascinated by serial killers.

Not Recommended For:
the squeamish.