100 Bullets: Hang Up on the Hang Low, by Brian Azzarello ISBN 9781563898556
Five out of five stars
This is a very tough graphic novel, it involves ruthless gangsters, a young man reunited with the father that abandoned his family and is not the best role model and a battle for control of the marketing of illegal substances.
Loop is an African-American man that drives a truck in a dangerous part of town. Agent Graves is a shadowy figure that offers Loop a bargain with an uncertain return. He gives Loop a gun loaded with untraceable bullets as well as a way to contact his father that he knows little about.
Contact is made and his father is a shady character that acts as some form of protection money collector/enforcer for a shriveled old mobster. Loop is quickly brought into his father’s world and proves to be a worthy student. Yet, at the end, in a throwback to the days of the rigidly enforced comics code authority, Loop learns that crime does not pay.
The story moves quickly and has several twists that require careful attention to the text and viewing on the part of the reader. Action is often brutal as people cynically carry out their tasks, doing what they feel is necessary. It is easy to develop empathy for Loop, as he is placed in circumstances largely out of his control and his survival actions for him and his father just move him deeper into difficulties. He falls in a hole and has no choice but to dig.