Reading the first of the 100 Bullets Deluxe Editions reminded me of how much I enjoyed that series back in the day, even if I never finished it.
You know something? I really should finish that series and find out how it all ended. As such, I got the second Deluxe Edition volume and a determination to finish the series before 2020 ends.
Hey, it’s not like I’m going anywhere anytime soon.
If the first book in the Deluxe Editions showcased different people given a chance to do something with a gun against the person who wronged them, consequence free, then this one decides to do a bit less of that by introducing a few of the major players in this world. The first volume gave glimpses into that backstory, and we know Graves and Shepherd may or may not be working together, and we know Graves used to have additional agents, but the only one we met was Cole, with the suggestion that Loop Hughes’s father has some job with them and that Dizzy Cordova is being recruited for…something.
The second volume fills in some blanks. The 13 families of the Trust apparently secretly control the country and they used to have a group of agents called the Minutmen. Graves was their leader. Lono, from the last volume, was one of them as was Cole. Shepherd, not so much, but he was there. Something happened and the Trust opted to permanently retire the Minutemen, but Graves resurfaced being decidedly less dead than the Trust thought. And since then, he seems to be getting the band back together/
The thing is, the surviving Minutemen seem to be like Cole was in the first volume: with no recollection of their past. Considering all of them are very good at violence and Lono is a sociopath, this may be for the best even if the two this volume features–Wylie and bandaged detective Milo–seem to be living in the gutter.
Then again, this is a series where, no matter how high up the social ladder the characters climb, they all seem to live in the gutter. And quite frankly, writer Brian Azzarello excels in stories like that. The final story in this edition, “The Counterfifth Detective,” follows the aforementioned Milo around as he goes on a case where he seems to have possibly been set up for murder, and it plays out very much like an old fashioned noir with a disreputable PI and at least two femme fatales, both of whom appeared in earlier issues, though I might not have noticed that had I not been reading these issues so close together. That really makes a difference.
For what it’s worth, as much as Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso work well together, I generally preferred the case-of-the-week type stories of the earlier volumes to the conspiracy stuff. This volume was more of that, though a single issue about one of Graves’s past encounters was very much a highlight of the volume. That said, perhaps reading the issues closer together will help me follow the conspiracy better. At least I know the creators probably aren’t making it up as they go along.
Can’t wait for the third book!
9 out of 10 unwanted animal cargo.