By Brian Azzarello, Marcelo Frusin & various (Vertigo)
The mysteries continue and deepen as the spiritually bereft and morally bankrupt town of Blackwater further festers under Union occupation in the days and months after the American Civil War. The freed slaves are no better off under Northern rule, returning southern men have taken to wearing white sheets whilst exacting bloody reprisals and the ordinary citizens are terrified that their lives and their secrets will be found out by either the Yankees or worse yet, returned Confederate hard man Wes Cutter.
Nobody is sure what Cutter wants. He’s asking uncomfortable questions about the fate of his missing wife, and he doesn’t want to be anybody’s friend. Moreover, since the military commander and his Carpetbagging bosses have made Cutter the sheriff of Blackwater he’s a traitor with the authority to get away with whatever he wants.
How the guilty-as-sin townsfolk react to Occupation Forces, former slave/Union soldier and now bounty hunter Atticus Mann, the rabble-rousing, murderous renegade Confederate returnees let alone despised the sheriff is chillingly and graphically depicted by Danijel Zezelj, Werther Dell’edera and Marcelo Frusin when the citizens become victims of a campaign of murder.
Combining classic Western themes with contemporary twists such as flamboyant serial killers and protracted murder mysteries, Brian Azzarello even manages to include hot-off-the-presses political metaphor in this twisted, stark and uncompromising series (collecting issues #6-12 of the monthly Vertigo comic book). A brilliant Western; a dazzling comic strip. Get it if you’re old enough and tough enough.
© 2006 Brian Azzarello & Marcelo Frusin. All Rights Reserved.