December 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: 100 Bullets Deluxe Edition Book 5

Graves's final plan is revealed and the final pieces move into place, but perhaps the pieces don't want to be pawns anymore...

You know, the first series I decided to finish this year was 100 Bullets.  Once upon a time, I used to pick up trades for this series as they came out, but at some point, I stopped.  I don’t remember why, but it was probably financial, and with such a huge cast of characters, it was easy to forget who some people were.  The advantage of reading the whole series in such a short period of time meant I saw the connections I may have missed before.

Point is, I finished this one off as well with the 5th of 5 thick books of reprints.

Here, at the end, the series finally gave what would pass for answers.  Who, notably, provided the handguns with the untraceable ammunition to Agent Graves and his Minutemen?  What was Graves’s plan?  And how did Augustus Medici fit into it?  Was Graves working against the Trust or secretly for it?

Most of those questions were given a fairly firm answer.  Yeah, the untraceable guns and ammo felt a little forced, but this was a series about the corruption at the heart of America, so maybe it works in-universe even if the explanation is a bit flimsy.  But the rest?  We’ve seen Graves and Augustus having meetings as both consolidated power.  And while Graves seemed to be working against the Trust he had at one time served, he’s also been seen chatting with Augustus about how everything seems to be going according to an unstated plan.  Once the plan comes out, then there becomes an obvious weak point.

I won’t say what the plan was, but it made a certain amount of sense.  What neither Graves nor Augustus counted on was the next generation of both the Trust and the Minutemen would follow their predictions.

A story like 100 Bullets was always going to end with a lot of bodies.  Few if any of the characters in a story like this deserve a happy ending, and while some people do walk away, at the very least, characters who arguably really deserve to die don’t make it out either.  I’m not sure Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso needed 100 issues to tell this story, but they managed.  Sure, some members of the Trust were barely noteworthy or featured long enough to give them distinctive personalities, and Azzarello’s dialogue, jumping from scene to scene and character to character, got old after a while, but the big thing was I really would have preferred the story stuck to the idea of regular people getting something back.  Instead, it became a story about an Illumunati-style crime group.  It was fine, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted when I started this series originally.

For this fifth book, 7.5 out of 10 gator pits o’ doom.

For this series as a whole, 8 out of 10 young women being groomed for positions they may or may not want.

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