By Daniel Vlasaty
Dante starts off with a cliché. A dude leads a double life. He’s a total badass assassin on the one hand and on the other he’s the perfect husband/father family man. He loves killing and murder and getting paid to do it but he is also conflicted because to do what he loves he has to lie to his family, who he loves more than the job. What to do? What to do?
And the clichés keep coming. Dante decides that the family is more important and asks for retirement, but his handler has one last and final job for him. Complete the job, get paid double, and he’s home free. Early retirement to the family.
I’m sure you can guess where this is going. There’s a set-up and a gunfight (complete with witty narration and banter) and a curse is bestowed upon him for murdering an innocent child during said gunfight.
And now he’s covered in weird tattoos that have ties to all the people he’s killed over the years and he has to make amends for all the shit he’s done.
Oh, and he’s family’s missing now too.
It’s not that I think the writing was bad here. It’s just that there was nothing new to be had. I tend to be turned off by comics heavy on the narration, especially when I find the narrator to be an annoying douche.
I guess I just didn’t care at all about Dante as a character. More than that, I didn’t care about any of the characters. Take Dante’s family, his wife, and daughter: they are simply perfect – or so Dante tells us. They’re flat, there’s no depth to them. They’re here being perfect one second and the next they’re disappeared and I couldn’t care less.
I would have thought at least Darick Robertson’s art could save the book. I like his stuff. I liked Happy. I loved Transmetropolitan. But it wasn’t doing anything for me here.
Dante is listed as a one-shot but the story just kind of ends with things still up in the air and nothing settled. So, I’m assuming there will be more Dante issues in the future.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I generally want to like everything I read or watch or listen to. I don’t like not liking things. But Dante just wasn’t doing it for me.
Writers: Matt Hawkins & Jason Ning
Artist: Darick Robertson
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Publisher: Image/Top Cow