HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Filthy Rich
writer: Brian Azzarello
artist: Victor Santos

To help launch the new official "Vertigo Crime" imprint, the powers that be at DC Comics turn to a man who knows crime fiction better than almost anyone else working in comics - Brian Azzarello. He knows the darkness that gnaws at the hearts of losers. He knows what it's like to catch a bad break and use it to keep spiraling further and further down. Forget the Shadow (for a moment - Azzarello will get around to writing him); Azzarello knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

With Filthy Rich, Azzarello teams with Spanish artist Victor Santos to bring us Rich Junkin, a former All-American football player who caught that bad break, but only after sniffing around the darkness anyway. Now he's a car salesman in the early 1960's, with all the veneer of respectability you might think that gives him.

A desperate man, and none too bright, Rich is, of course, perfectly set up to get caught up in something he only thinks he understands. Mix in bright lights, big city and a couple of swell dames, and you've got a recipe for trouble.

So there's a few clichés in there. Azzarello knows how to make it complex and dirty, and working in this genre he's not so much relaxed as just clearly in his element. In the center, Junkin lives and breathes, obviously making bad choices and giving in to violent urges just when he absolutely shouldn't. You can't agree with them; you might not make them if you were in his shoes, but you can see how those shoes fit him.

The story does have a couple of swerves to it, but you may not come to this sort of thing for the pathway. It's the atmosphere. You can almost hear an Esquivel song sliding into mournful jazz, congas giving way to breaking glass. Blinding bright lights keep trying to shine in the darkness, but no go.

Of course, that's also because of the collaboration with Santos. Suited well to working in black and white, he has strong line work, though occasionally his grasp on characters is a little more fluid than it could be. For the most part, Santos uses contrasts very well; it just may be hard to work in the shadow of Eduardo Risso, Azzarello's last (and best) artistic collaborator.

The version I read of this was a galley trade paperback, and that makes me pull back a little bit on recommending this whole-heartedly. While it's good pulp, I'm not sure that a $19.95 hardback is a justifiable format. Filthy Rich feels like a great discovery in a cheap paperback; a lurid cover (here by the great Lee Bermejo) and muscular writing like this should be an inexpensive pleasure, a small paperback to carry with you and read on the bus or the train, to get lost in the glitz and the sleaze.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think!

Derek McCaw


Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites