David Lloyd (4 stars)

Kickback (Darkhorse)

CRIME NOIR

Well-established comic book artists usually get around to writing their own material at some point in their careers. Veteran British artist David Lloyd, who remains best known for his collaboration with Alan Moore on the virtuoso V for Vendetta, takes a stab at writing his own script, and the results impress. Originally published in France, and now in English for the first time, it’s a noir thriller set in an American metropolis where a turf war has broken out between previously allied local hoodlums and the corrupt police. As the book’s protagonist, Detective Joe Canelli, investigates what led to the explosion of violence, he wrestles with his own sullied conscience and disturbing childhood memories.

Lloyd’s atmospheric artwork is as good as ever, but what really impresses in this gripping read - dedicated to his dad - is the juggling of crime genre storytelling conventions with themes about personal responsibility and the uneasy relationship between fathers and sons.

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