A creative team I’ve never heard of, on a book I’ve never read, from a studio I’m only now warming up to, equals one hell of a comic.
Hit 1957 is about two characters, Detective Harvey Slater and Bonnie/Marie Collins. Slater is part of a hit squad taking out mafia members, with his cohorts questioning their results. Slater himself has no qualms about going outside the rules to get things done. Bonnie is a girl with a bad history whose quiet retirement suddenly ends when the past catches up to her. Both her and Slater are dealing with a family head named Domino while Slater himself is also dealing with Internal Affairs investigating him.
The art is a sight to see, with Vanesa Del Rey’s style seemingly a mix between Matteo Scarlera and Alex Toth. There is a looseness to the figures, but plenty of lines conveying their motion through the folds of their cloths and body language. I get a strong sense of familiarity with fine art from her style. Complementing her pencil work is Riko Guardia’s colors, which look like rich pastels with charcoal. Some of the action scenes just use a singular vibrant color as background, while the quiet scenes will use a blend of colors to capture the feel of California in the 1950s. Even the monochromatic scenes are visually appealing, with their strong composition almost a photo reference from the era.
Story-wise, I’m reminded of Gangster Squad and LA Noire but these feel like influences instead of copy’s. The dialogue feels natural and the characters are instantly compelling despite their dubious actions. Adding to the enjoyment are police reports and Pop Art ads that instill Mad Men like detail to the book itself.
If we get more books like this and Image’s The Fade-Out, I would be a very happy (and very broke) reader, particurily because these books do such justice for the Noir genre.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent