Meet Conrad Paulson, a guy who’s kind of an average guy, except that he also leads a double life as the world famous thief “Redmond”. With Image recreating itself now on a monthly basis with new #1 issues all over the place, you’d be crazy to think Robert Kirkman wouldn’t be involved. With him comes Nick Spencer and artist Shawn Martinbrough in the first issue of Thief of Thieves.
Thief of Thieves #1
Redmond and his assistant, Celia, are in the middle of a heist on an ocean liner. After duping the captain of the vessel and making off with a valuable pearl, we learn how these two thieves met. Celia was a small time thief trying to steal Redmond’s car. He shows her the ropes and prevents her from ultimately being double crossed by her so-called fence. In the present, she’s badgering him about a big job in Venice. Redmond is a little apprehensive about going forward with the job, and after being surprised by his recruits and his financial backer, he drops a bomb by saying he’s quitting the life.
This has all the markings of one of those cool heist movies that were in style during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s and came back with Ocean’s Eleven some ten years ago. Even the title design on the cover has that Alfred Hitchcockian feel to it. There’s a slickness to the story and dialog and a sharp wit that definitely comes from Nick Spencer’s script. The characters, though are classic Robert Kirkman… They’re just interesting enough to keep your attention without giving you more than you need at the time.
The nice thing about the character of Redmond and Celia that we do get in this book in a perfect abundance of is how they are as a team and how they fit into this criminal world. Celia is eager and suffers from a broken moral compass, but is loyal to Redmond. After all, he was able to make her an infinitely more successful and intelligent thief. Redmond on the other hand gives off a cool, almost James Bond (or possibly Thomas Crowne?) air about him. He’s a thinker and someone who seems to have a strong handle on the situations around him. These characters are well worth the $3 a month to see unfold and move on past this first issue.
Even Shawn Martinbrough’s art plays out like we’re watching a George Clooney heist flick. Redmond is drawn evenly. By that I mean he’s not ever seen as unsettled or lashing out. Just by looking at him you can tell he’s got whatever situation he’s in under control. He’s almost drawn as if he’s just a passenger watching people and things pass in front of him as he’s not even there. The art of this book is almost as important as the script itself as it helps perpetuate an idea that this may come off as more of a character study than an action piece.
But therein lies my main critique of this book. Without a doubt, I’m in for this ride. I love Kirkman and Spencer’s stuff. I loved looking at Martinbrough’s art and Felix Serrano’s beautiful colors, but while the pacing is perfect, the solicitation actually hurts the story. This might be the first time since Final Crisis that I have complained about the solicitation of a comic. When looking at the info on the book they keep bringing up Redmond’s alter ego of Paulson and a life he left behind. However, in the book, he’s not ever called by his real name and we’re not given any information on this life he supposedly left behind. The solicitation feels like the pitch Kirkman and Spencer passed back and forth than a brief description of issue #1. What I know about this book takes away from the “adventure” of learning more about Redmond. So, in the end, would the exploration behind this alter ego been more interesting moving forward? I would have to say yes.
Even though a lot of exposition is given away in the solicitation, and the top of the cover itself, this book still has great stuff between the covers. It’s still well worth a look.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Cool characters and beautiful art. Really looking forward to seeing this stylish book unfold.||Too much given to us too soon from outside sources and it takes away from what we are given in this issue.|
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