100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO #1 OF 8 VF/NM VERTIGO BRIAN AZZARELLO EDUARDO RISSO
Availability: In stock
Publisher: Vertigo ( DC )
Main Character(s): Other
Year: MODERN AGE (1992-NOW)
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
As far as fiction goes, I can't think of anyone as mean, wicked or as irredeemable as the utter bastard that is Lono. The hulking, Hawaiian shirt wearing maniac was so frightening and cruel in 100 Bullets that he has haunted my thoughts as perhaps the most awful antihero I've ever seen. In fact, antihero probably isn't the right term. He's just a bastard. He murders. He rapes. He cheats. I've always had a soft spot for him.
Imagine my surprise when I open the first issue to see him practically volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico! His closest thing to a friend is a priest. Lono is trying to change! Haunted, almost frightened of himself, he constantly turns the other cheek to the disrespecting thugs and cartel monsters the orphanage is plagued by. These common idiots have no idea about the monster that lurks behind those eyes. It's like watching a piranha take the piss out of a Great White. Back in the day, Lono had a grin so terrifying that no one would dare.
The writing is as tight and stylish as it gets. Azzarello plays with words and slang to tease new meaning from phrases heard a hundred times before. Double meanings are so rife that you wouldn't even notice without the emphasis from some fine lettering. The dialogue is a different class; managing somehow to double up as a narrative for separate events. Two characters will be chatting as something unrelated unfolds elsewhere; these spoken words work for both. It's an original and very succinct way of storytelling which I haven't seen since Lono's noir days in 100 Bullets.
The violence in this book will make you gasp. It's horrific. You'll be squirming after the first few panels alone. After a few pages you know you're in for a rough ride. It's unflinchingly brutal and hard to even look at never mind think about. It's not the best environment for Lono to turn over a new leaf.
Every character is unique with tattoos, style, mannerisms and so many other little details that you know them after seeing them once. All of them are pretty hard to forget. The level of detail is astounding whether inside a dark car or out in the dusty Mexican sunlight. Character expression remains second to none. The art is just sublime.
Brother Lono is a stressful read that conjures memories of classic antihero movies like Eastwood's Unforgiven. Knowing Lono's history works in an unexpected way; it makes you question his motivation. It just doesn't sit right. Panels dotted about show glimpses of the Lono we're all afraid of before he disappears again. It's tense stuff knowing what could happen at any moment “ the monster breaking free.
Comics haven't been the same since this son of a bitch left. I'm glad he's back.writer : Brian Azzarello artist : Eduardo Risso