Written by guest contributor Lance Lambert
There’s so much to love in the genre of crime noir and Hit: 1957 has managed to capture it all. From the gritty lives of the characters to the lust that goes along with it, the team has crafted a hard-hitting first two issues. The third issue comes through with just as much force as the others. We come to a point where the three major characters, Slater, Bonnie, and Sticky, are face to face with their conflicts. Slater is on a quest to find Bonnie and get her out of Las Vegas. Bonnie has taken matters into her own hands and is trying to escape unnoticed with the help of Riggs, a former hit squad member. Sticky is still dealing with demons from the first two issues and is searching for the psycho that brought them to his doorstep. We also get more info on the characters previous lives.
Bryce Carlson has done an amazing job with the story. Like most works in this genre, there is a lot going on in each issue, only more difficult in a four issue series. However, Carlson has successfully paced the story to keep the readers on their toes, while keeping a grasp on the many different strings in web of Hit: 1957. Already on the edge of my seat, Carlson drops more background information on each of our characters, having me holding on with every decision they make. That’s where the anonymous narrator comes into play. Carlson’s approach with the narrator has been executed in a unique way. While most narrators in comics are boring, unless you read all of them like the late and great Randy Savage, Carlson keeps it fresh. Yet, it would be foolish to not recognize Vanesa R. Del Rey as a part of the effort. The coherence of the team can be seen with each panel and shot in compliment to the narration.
Now that I’ve mentioned Del Rey, I can’t hold off talking about the art. First, I have to praise the covers. They are the reason I picked up the first issue and why the guy at my comic shop avoids me on release day. I can’t stop talking about them. Let me get back on track. Del Rey’s art is loose and gritty. It may seem that the choice of words is more negative, but that’s not the case. The style of her art is perfect for this story. It’s rough just like the characters that make up the narrative. Guardia’s colors reflect this style and the collective result is well done. In noir comics, coloring can make or break the work as a whole. Hell, maybe that’s why a lot are in black and white. Maybe that’s why I’m such a sucker for black and white. Yet, we see works like Fade Out where the colors are exceptional. Guardia does not fail. The dark and cool colors used reflect the grim and deep lives of the characters.
However, one of the few things I dislike about the art are faces. Many of the shots, the faces are unclear and fuzzy. There were times where I couldn’t distinguish some characters. Even in close-ups they tend to look the same. As far as the writing, there wasn’t much that fell short. There were times that the narration would reiterate information that didn’t feel important to the story. In the scope of this comic these are minor flaws.
Hit: 1957 was originally a random pick up one late Wednesday afternoon. It was a noir comic with a rad cover. Need I justify my purchase anymore? Lame anecdotes aside, this comic surprised me. Being the third of four issues, I’m still along for the ride. The story is full of characters with not so easy decisions. We have a cop trying to save a girl from his past, resurrecting demons that he tried to bury. His partner doing his best to bury his demons and keep his moral compass aligned. Finally, a bad-ass damsel in distress, taking matters into her own hands and not waiting around for someone to save her. There’s much to love in this comic and very little to hate. Each member of the team reflects and supports the others ability, and that’s what makes this medium so great. Check this comic out and if we are lucky there may be more to come.