Story by Robert Kirkman. Written by James Asmus. Drawn by Shawn Martinbrough and colored by Felix Serrano.
The first panel captions, “Free But Not Clear,” but two men could easily get themselves deeper and deeper in trouble. Conrad is persuaded back into the heist game. Why? Expert thief Conrad is paying back those who helped his son and is also satisfying his urge to steal (or getting back at ex Audrey and her lover, curator Donald). Meanwhile, Augustus somehow lost a duffel bag full of heroin then struggles to find money to placate some cartel guys.
Between the conflicts is a flashback taking place soon after Audrey’s brother’s death. She grieves for him and asks Conrad to end his thieving life. The scene sets the stakes of Conrad and Augustus’ activities.
Under the hands of Martinbrough, hardly anyone’s ever out of a shadow and varied expressions on Conrad’s face make him more relatable than a standard-issue stoic. The art by Martinbrough and Serrano help make a point that while these people have lives and emote like normal people, there remains a nagging tension that goes with the life of crime.
Also, some scenes have a themed color to them: Conrad’s conversation with Celia has a blue bias, a scene with Augustus in his room has a green tint, and Conrad’s heist shifts from orange to green to red.
This is one of Image Comics’ top-selling titles not simply because of Kirkman, but of because of the work of the creative team as a whole. Three hooves out of four.
Tags: Image Comics