Written by Jason Ning, Matt Hawkins | Art by Darick Robertson | Published by Image Comics
Dante is one of the most impressive titles I have read in some time (I feel like i’m saying this a lot lately). The sign of a good book for me is that it has me gripped right from the very first page. Matt Hawkins and Jason Ning’s casual use of phrases like “I have something to confess, sometimes I kill people” and of course a few well placed curse words, really grabbed me. I got a couple pages in and started to feel like I had seen this before, like it was gonna be the hit-man with a heart of gold cliche. All my worries were alleviated when you find that yes, our main character has family but he also has the mind to scram if needed (you know like Dexter).
Dante is the story of well… Dante, A man who leads an interesting double life. On the surface he is planes parts adviser with a wife, child and somewhat idealistic life, Scratch beneath that you will find a cold hearted killer. However after 20 years of service he has decided its time to get out and foolishly thinks its just that easy. Dante is taken by surprise and set up by the crime boss he works for, a gunfight ensues, we get a needless pretty tragic death and Dante is forever changed in away he would never have dreamt of.
Matt Hawkins and Jason Ning have done a fantastic job of making this Leon-style story very fresh and original. I credit this to the way the have our main character talking to us. That’s not that fresh I know but he speaks to us like we knew what was coming, doing two things at once. Admitting “Okay this bit is slightly cliche” but patting us on the back for the foresight. Hawkins and Ning seem to have really gone for it with this One-Shot and in Darick Robertson have found the perfect artist to really express these no holds barred action sequences. I mean Jesus there were a couple panels that made me wince.
This is a definite recommend from me. The story in Dante is great and moves along at rapid pace, the art compliments what we are being told beautifully not to mention it looks bloody gorgeous. You couldn’t do much better for your money this week… Buy Dante…