Titan Comics 2015
Written by Nicole Phillips
Illustrated by Beni Lobel
Coloured by Esther Sanz
Raymond “Red” Reddington, A.K.A. The Concierge of Crime, was a former naval officer for the United States Navy, once groomed for the post of Admiral. He went rogue 20 years ago, leaving behind his wife and child, before he resurfaced four years later selling classified secrets, and as a result earned himself a place on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted list. Until 2013, Red operated as a ghost, controlling a vast global underground criminal empire, selling and trading secrets, weapons, favors and influence, while manipulating the world stage for his own nefarious purposes.
However, in 2013, for reasons still unclear, Red walked into the FBI’s headquarters in Washington and willingly surrendered himself to the FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper, promising him not only access to his own personal list of criminal contacts but also help in apprehending them too; his only proviso, that he would liaise solely with Cooper and his task force through newly appointed FBI special agent Elizabeth Keen, with whom he shares a mysterious and as yet fully undisclosed-history…
I may not be watching the television series anymore but I have to admit after reading this issue I’m more inclined to start watching it again. This is one of those series that translates very easily to this medium with all the action/adventure and intrigue that surrounds finding these Blacklisters. In some ways it seems to enhance the ability for a writer to interject some solid characterization as well.
The way this issue opens is dramatic and eye catching. It may be a one page deal but by George it did make me want to keep reading to see how it happened and what impact in the story it has! From there we go to Elizabeth where she’s boxing and has to do at the FBI academy at Quantico. I have to give major props here to Beni and Esther because the interiors here are simply superb to behold. The attention to detail here is amazingly portrayed you really get the feeling you’re looking at something special.
I have to say this was an incredibly engaging first issue and a heck of a way to start off a series. When we see the man from the first page and what he goes through it’s a no wait start to the meat of the story. I like that we get to immediately jump in here and see Ryan’s fate and how it played out and who did it which only leads to the man behind it, his agent and then leaves a big old why and how they are going to track him down and stop his horrific spree.
Red knows who they are up against and when he and Keen talk about him you almost feel sorry for Kiklinski because when these two work on a case they usually close it. The dialogue and information given make for a good story and give us a look behind how they operate. Not only that though but because this is a tie-in to the series it has all the characters and the little nuggets surrounding the characters that make for background intrigue and actions taken that make you question people’s real motives.
I really liked what Nicole did here a lot there’s plenty of incredible characterization, interesting characters and plenty of subterfuge and misdirection that keeps the reader’s mind moving in multiple directions. With some absolutely beyond hope interior artwork this will thrill anyone who reads it.