Comic Review: Thief of Thieves #14

Thief of Thieves #14
Story by Robert Kirkman, James Asmus, and Andy Diggle
Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Shawn Martinbrough
Colors by Felix Serrano
Cover by Shawn Martinbrough and Felix Serrano
Image Comics
Publication Date: May 29, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

I’m a sucker for those good old heist movies, in which there are all kinds of complicated plot twists and turns and surprises, highlighting the advanced master strategy of the protagonist – the forward-thinking nature of the (anti)hero we follow. Enter Thief of Thieves, the concept of which is literally like the above description, though things go awry and the tale moves into a completely singular and sometimes unexpected direction.

Thief of Thieves follows the master of pilfering renowned among the criminal netherworld and organized syndicates, known as Redmond (aka Conrad Paulson). He is the best of the best, and is known for taking down major heists. But in his mind, his time is up – it’s time to step out of the scandalous life, and retire. Despite this, constant evolving events cause him to get dragged back into the lifestyle.

His son, Augustus, tries to follow in his father’s shoes, more so from rebelliousness against Daddy Redmond. Augustus gets himself tied up in Mexican Cartel business, causing his father to step in and attempt to pull his son out of a hole that just keeps getting deeper and deeper.

This brings us to Issue 14″¦

Thief of Thieves #14 kicks off directly after the conclusion for the first two collected volumes. Apprehended by a senior assassin working for the Cartel, the drug lords want ten million dollars from the two Paulsons, in return for the cash and hassle the younger thief has caused the criminal organization. Redmond is placed in a position where he has to plan how to get ahold of the money, while his son is held captive by the Cartel.

Being new to the series, I was not expecting much – but I was wrong. Thief of Thieves draws from many influences, and is like The Godfather, Ocean’s Eleven, Breaking Bad, and more, rolled into one big wibbly wobbly ball of heist comic book goodness. The writing is exceptionally solid and meticulously planned; often dropping new allusions and making new connections to older events tying everything together, and it demands for your compelled attention. The story would make for an outstanding film or television series – not surprising, as was co-conceived by Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman.

The artwork is also top notch, with Shawn Martinbrough bringing quite a Bruce Campbell likeness into the main protagonist. Felix Serrano‘s colors are vivid and stark, bringing the illustrations to life. The artistic duo in this publication is doing superb work, and the end result is simply beautiful to look at. As with the abovementioned movie/television reference, there are some elemental frames and panels that work like storyboards for filmed media in some ways. The creative work in this publication is nothing short of brilliant.

There is one downfall however. Thief of Thieves is an ongoing series with not a lot of reference in this issue to previous events. I was privileged to have some context in back issues in preparing this review, but newcomers might be a little lost and disoriented. That being said, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, this publication is worth your attention, so I would recommend grabbing the first two collected editions – Volume 1 and Volume 2 — to catch up on the weighty backstory before diving into this issue.

A highly recommended series – if you love crime stories, and enjoy heist movies, or enjoy the crime thriller aspects of shows like Breaking Bad, you will definitely be interested in this. Add Thief of Thieves to the MUST READ list.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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