This marks the first time that I'm going to have to cheat a little bit on this weekly feature. Of the 7 books I bought, there was one that I clearly looked forward to reading above any of the others. It wasn't even close. But, since I reviewed The Spirit a mere two Most Wanted's ago, I'm going to go with my second choice this time. I guess I'll have to figure out a new rule for weeks like this... maybe I'll skip a week sometimes, or always take the second choice, or something.
Anyway, this isn't to say that I'm going through the dreck here... far from it! Although it doesn't bring me to the level of anxiousness that The Spirit does, this is a very, very good comic:
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
This issue marks the beginning of the second story arc of this fantastic crime drama series, which makes it a great time to jump on (nudge nudge). Interestingly enough, the different story arcs really have nothing to do with each other - aside from the underlying crime element. So everything's new again, and you have no excuse not to pick this up.
This time around, our story starts us off with Tracy Lawless (heh), an A.W.O.L. special ops military bad-ass trying to piece together exactly how his estranged brother, Rick, died while he was stuck serving time in a military prison. Tracy, not Rick. Since Rick was a lifetime criminal, Tracy goes undercover and starts to insert himself into his brother's old gang. Brutally.
That's the quickie set-up. But there's much more background tidbits presented and it's executed so well that you really have to read it to get the proper feel. This is a heavily narrated book, and as moody as a late night mobster dock-side heist. In fact, halfway through the book, there is a late night mobster dock-side heist. If you like crime noir or character-driven drama, then you will love this book. It's a great break from all the super-hero madness that you normally get infected with every week. And it's some of Brubaker's best writing, ever. Art's pretty spot-on, too.
Great setup, great starting point, and it's looking like another really enjoyable arc for this excellent title.
Most Wanted Panel: