Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Microreview [Comic]: Thief of Thieves


The Meat

Robert Kirkman has the Midas touch. Another one of his projects has been picked up by AMC and may indeed be pure gold. After the insanely successful The Walking Dead, Kirkman is teaming up with a host of writers to tell the tale of a man with two identities. Redmond, the best thief of his generation who is expected to lead one of the biggest jobs of the century, and Conrad Paulson, a divorced father of one.

On the surface you have a great heist story along the lines of Ocean’s 11 or The Thomas Crown Affair, but underneath is a story of one man’s redemption as a father and husband. It is clear early on the Conrad is a man who regrets his past decisions and how he feel’s it is his fault his son, Augustus, is in jail.

The story starts off with a bang as you see Redmond in action and how his sly, cunning plans utilize the element of surprise to pull off improbable theft. Cut to Redmond celebrating with a collection of great thieves hosted by Arno, the head honcho of thieves. In not the most original move ever, we have a character who is quitting the criminal organization he helped build to seek redemption. We are left with a flawed protagonist who is dealing with a multitude of issues. It seems that all he wants to do is set things straight with his family. With only a thieves’ tool belt at his disposal, Redmond, I mean Conrad, may not be on the most direct path to reunite with his ex-wife and set things straight with his son.

Sean Martinbrough is a true storyteller with his art. He makes effective use of panels without any dialogue to provide a very cinematic feel to the story and to emotionally connect the reader with Conrad. The flow of his panels makes Thief of Thieves a quick and immersive read that will easily translate to the television screen.

Collecting issues #1-7, this volume is full of twists and turns that ultimately tell a story about one man’s desire to shed his criminal past and utilize his talent (thieving) to set things right in his life. There is nothing mind blowing in the series, but it is an enjoyable read that is worth the read. Kirkman is an effective storyteller who seems to have a grasp on the big picture. As you read this collection you can’t help but wonder what moments that seem insignificant will pay off later in the series.

While not my favorite book on the market today, it is a series that I would have no hesitation recommending to someone looking for a fun read that provides the depth of character to make you care. When you read it you will see how it will easily translate into a successful television show.

The Math

Objective score: 7/10

Bonuses: +1 for a Who’s the Boss reference; + 1 for pure cinematic quality

Penalties: -1 for Kirkman not killing off any main characters…yet

Nerd coefficient: 8/10. "Well worth your time and attention."

[Read about our non-inflated scoring system here.]