Written by Matz, Walter Hill | Art by Jef | Published by Titan Comics
Triggerman so far has been a very nice ride indeed, throwing the reader into the world of ‘Machine Gun’ Roy Nash, a triggerman (a hit man to you and me) for the Mob. Every page so far has wallowed in its 1930′s setting, with hard boiled gangsters, corrupt cops, gangsters molls, Prohibition and the Depression. It’s all in there. A lesser creative team could have made this all feel a little clichéd, but not these guys. It has felt real and authentic, especially the dialogue, and a great book to visit every month.
So where were we? Well, last issue was a mix of good and bad for Roy. Currently on his mission to dispose of two targets for the Mob, he has also tracked down his old flame, Lena Dorsey. She has hit bad times, and has been hanging around with a shady club owner, Eddie Marz, who refuses to let Roy take her away. Roy has vowed to take Eddie down, while Eddie has put out a hit on Roy, and he has a lot of men under him. That was the bad. The good is, Roy has found an unexpected ally in Detective Valentine, the seemingly only partly honest cop in the entire city. He is tired of being surrounded by complete corruption and wants out, and in return for helping Roy get rid of some bad guys wants a cut of the reward. Roy is reluctant, but when Valentine reveals he knows where one of Roy’s targets is, accepts the offer.
Triggerman #4 starts with Roy and Valentine staking out Babe Fulton’s place, where he and Start are, the two men the Mob want dead. One violent shoot out later both are dead, but we see this alliance is not as tight as it seemed, as Roy lies to Valentine about finding out anything more about where the money is. He has a lead, but keeps it quiet. This backfires on Roy, as he is jumped and captured by Eddie’s boys, also after the money, and is tied up and drugged. Meanwhile, his bodyguard, The Panama Kid, has also been kidnapped, and been tossed to the bottom of the river. Roy narrowly escapes, and sets up a meet with his Mob contact, who it turns out was the one who ratted him out. Roy makes sure that’s one less rat in the city.
Roy seemingly has a pang of conscience when he realised it wasn’t Valentine setting him up, and calls him to come and collect the money from a grave where it’s been hidden. They split the $500,000 and Valentine wants to be on his way, but Roy has one final job he needs to do. Unfinished business, the best kind.
In contrast to last issue, which was a little quieter and slower, the story this issue sped by at a rate of knots. Plenty of action and discoveries, double crosses and escapes, murders and lies. Very well plotted and paced, in fact so well that quite often panels had no dialogue at all, but you knew exactly what was going on. The art was fantastic throughout, really creating a seedy, nasty underbelly of a world these characters are operating in. The panels really felt like camera shots, and we were watching a movie. A little shout out as well to the colouring, also by artist Jef, which is the final icing on this particular cake, as it adds the perfect muted tone to the visuals. Plenty of shadows, dark rooms, faces hidden by hats etc all combine to set the scene as much as the writing.
A very fulfilling slice of crime fiction, and like all good desserts, one that makes you want one piece more.
Triggerman #4 is out now from Titan Comics.