American Monster Vol. 1 B. Azzarello & J. Doe | Review Preview


Published on Sep 12, 2017


If I had to define saldaPress with a single adjective I would say “far-sighted” not only for having brought to Italy in the times of blatantly non-suspicious, a note series with the “protagonists” of the zombies but also for a constant search for titles and series, especially in a landscape crowded as the one in the comics that are never banal, without having to follow any trend, and the authors of which had a certain urgency to “say something” by attracting the attention of critics and the public.

This is certainly the case of the series powered by the Aftershock publishing house founded in 2015 and is headed by Mike Marts editor expert that has worked in both DC Comics and Marvel on Batman, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy just to mention the most important and influential.

saldaPress decides to leave immediately with the heavy foot on the accelerator and his first proposal is this American Monster of Brian Azzarello – author who certainly needs no introduction having written a cornerstone of the genre crime such as 100 Bullets other than Batman in many occasions, also paired with the legendary Frank Miller and the excellent management of New 52 Wonder Woman– and Juan Doe.

In what may be a town in any of the american midwest comes a giant of a man and the face horribly disfigured. The stranger obviously attracts the curiosity of the residents, all a bit suspicious because they all seem to be hiding a secret. In the course of the pages we will discover that the man called Theo Montclare and is linked to the town even if no one recognizes him, he belongs to that place. And has a task to complete.

Azzarello is back doing what he knows best which is a crime-story bastard and without compromise. With this first volume the author focuses in on the build in detail a microcosm of characters who are all somehow related to one another now, so morbid now ambiguously in the background of an american post-modern and at the centre there is the “stranger” whose past is gradually unveiled.

The writing is patient and rhythmic, Azzarello, in fact, you take the right time to introduce those that are the vertices of a dangerous triangle: the protagonist, Theo Montclare, the leader of the local crime Felix Black and the mysterious reverend Jimmy. Slowly, inexorably and, above all, violently we will discover what binds Theo just Felix with the final ripping a page directly from any novel by Edward Bunker. The prose is typically azzarelliana and “suitable " for mature audiences”, but never vulgar for the pure pleasure of being, rather always abrasive and the essential, sometimes also ironic.

While focusing on introducing the characters, the main 3 mentioned above, but also a lot of “characters” that seem to be all equally important, it is impossible not to notice the skill of the author in weaving a skillfully plot the horizontal – the one linked to Theo – and vertical – that linked precisely to the secondary characters.

American Monster sa of 100 Bullets but the aftertaste is that of his controversial run of Hellblazer: there's John Constantine ran through an America made up of contradictions, here Theo Montclare is the contradiction of America spectrum itself is divided between extremism and separatismi. It's a fresco so much gloomy as well as challenging for the one who chews the crime fiction but also for those looking for a true story, and vibrant.

But it is without a shadow of a doubt, Juan Doe the added value of this volume. His stroke reminds one of the historic partners-in-crime of Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, but less stylized and nervous and more round and cartoonish, but no less incisive in addition, we note a certain influence of Mike Mignola, especially in the skilful use of chiaroscuro. And’ in the construction of the table, however, the designer is lauded: on the one hand the shots, with a “camera grip” that wheel, and you place often from the top or from the bottom for “highlight” in a way peculiar characters and situations, and the rhythm borrow a language of television that blends in well with the plot sketched out by Azzarello on the other, the author prefers horizontal panes and mean fields which change the direction of reading from the classic “left-right” to a little orthodox “high-low” in almost a pyramid down, as if trying to under to understand that all the characters introduced are not what they seem.

Effective also work as the colour of the Doe, which uses a palette with shades of the barren is made of red, orange and brown that give the story a tone of twilight and true american province, and in which the main character stands in all its diversity.

Superb translation work, the work of Stefano Formiconi, which makes it very well the prose Azzarello, never easy to adapt and translate, which adds to the impeccable care (carto)-a technique that distinguishes the product from the publisher emiliano.

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