This is my first exposure to American Monster. I’ve been a fan of both Azzarello and Doe for years, with 100 Bullets being a strong recommendation for greatest comic series of all time. (Why has there not been a TV show?) I wasn’t sure what the book was about but I knew that I was in good hands going in. I was not disappointed.
While the events of this issue are not the best point for new readers the comic itself is a solid offering. Azzarello is back to his old tricks by creating tension through his dialogue that hooks the reader in. There are double crosses, quiet moments, and everything between when it comes to this issue.
The crux of this installment is the weapon dealings of Felix. Somewhere between getting screwed over by his supplier and the pressure of shared custody by his pushy ex-wife Felix’s hard-ass exterior falls away and we see a man who is just trying to make ends meet; maybe not the most honest of ways, but still going with what he knows. The reveal at the end involves a flashback to the days of Felix’s time in the war. The only time he compromised his morals as a solider has come back to haunt him.
Juan Doe’s art is top-notch. From his work on various expressions which elevate the story to his simplistic backgrounds that focus the eye on the necessary action; we as readers are being treated to a visual feast.
Final Thoughts: While I’m unsure if this series has the gusto to go into the same category as 100 Bullets I do know that it is a solid offering from a great team of creators. I’m intrigued to see where the series is heading.
Final Grade: 3 ½ Stars
American Monster #5
Story: Brian Azzarello
Art/Letters: Juan Doe