Sibling rivalry meets infidelity and corpses in the new Image Comics graphic novel, Write It In Blood. Cosmo and Arthur Price are brothers who work as contract killers in Texas. Cosmo is looking forward to retirement, but when a job transporting a rival crime boss named Little Harkness goes awry, it could put Cosmo’s plans in jeopardy as well as put himself and Arthur in mortal danger. It’s a cleverly written graphic novel by Rory McConville and artist Joe Palmer that lives up to its title and proves that blood is indeed thicker than water.
Write It In Blood is a humourous but violent noir drama with a few twists. What makes the story work so well is the dynamic chemistry between brothers Arthur and Cosmos — they’re like the Odd Couple version of assassins. Cosmos is the more laid back, sensitive type while Arthur is a very direct and cold person. This is shown early on, when Cosmos tries to let someone go and then Arthur kills them.
The writing is pretty straightforward. There’s a good amount of violence throughout, and most will find the dialogue extremely engaging. On a deeper level. the book’s about family, responsibility, loyalty, and coming to terms with your own mistakes. As a whole, the book feels like a film by Guy Ritchie or Quentin Tarantino. Although we don’t learn a lot about a number of characters, including the two main protagonists, we’re given enough to form an opinion.
The artistry has a Cully Hamner, homage feel to it mixed with Palmer’s own originality. There’s keen usage of symmetry laid out in every panel, all the way down to the bullets next to a dead body. The storytelling is done so well that there isn’t much of a need for captions. The colors provided by Chris O’Halloran are subtle, which adds a nice delicate balance that brings everything to life.
Write It In Blood is a gem. McConville manages to tell two stories in one: a tale of two brothers and their relationship, and a ripple effect crime caper. If you’re looking for an action story that’s not too dark with some witty beats of humor, this is it.
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