Hard Case Crime/Titan Comics 2017
Story & Screenplay by Walter Hill & Denis Hamill
Adapted by Matz
Illustrated by Jef
Translated by Charles Ardai
Hitman Frank Kitchen’s assignment to kill a celebrated fashion designer who’s fallen behind on his debts takes a turn when his victim’s sister, a sociopathic surgeon, decides to punish him in the unique way only she can. Abducted and operated on against his will, Frank awakens in an altered condition – but with a hitman’s hunger for revenge.
Wow this is something else entirely! This is being into a feature film starring Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver and if they stay as true to the story as what i’m seeing here than this is going to be one not to miss. I love these books Titan is putting out and how they are using foreign language stories and bringing them to American audiences. This is edgy, daring, bold and full of these zest and verve that sucks you into the story.
The writing here is incredible and the way we are introduced to the characters is pretty flawlessly done. Structurally we open at one moment and go back to see how it got to that point. There’s plenty of Frank seen here so we get a really good sense of who he is, what he’s about and the type of man he is. I like that the book starts right off with his hit on a fashion designer that’s the catalyst for this story. From a visual standpoint what Jef does here is mix both this masculine and feminine in Frank so that’s he’s both manly and pretty at the same time.
Throughout the entire issue I love what Jef does. His use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds here really do wonders to draw you into this story. That he’s not afraid of showing the human body the way he does whether they are women or men and in all their glory has a seductive quality to it. He really does get into the whole emotional state of the characters nicely through facial expressions and body language.
The way the story progresses we get to see how Frank’s line of work and lifestyle have made him the man he is. That he’s unapologetic about what he does and that it doesn’t get under his skin, he’s meticulous and very skilled. The characterisation is so strong here in regards to him and you find yourself oddly drawn to him, not as an anti-hero or villain really but in this weird way. You like him despite what and who he is and that we can make this kind of connection with him is vital to the story.
Now this is an oversized issue, it’s 64 pages long, so we really do get this incredibly intense look at him. Not only that but the people in his peripheral life as well. The way that we are introduced to how the opening comes is wide open. It leaves a lot of room for us to still explore and we so desperately want to. How it got to that point and how Frank is well targeted in this way is something we want to know. That desire to know is a huge driving force in keeping us coming back.
This is an utterly amazing debut and one that if transformed cinematically as well as it’s presented here then it’s going to blow people’s minds.