Welcome to the world of Murder Inc.: Jagger Rose, where the five crime families rule the country through fear, murder and intimidation. Where debauchery is the name of the game. And where the ultimate authority is…the pope.
It’s a sick world to be sure. But boy is it fun!
Jagger Rose is the brainchild of frequent collaborators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, the team behind Powers (which conveniently makes an appearance via a kid’s holo-vid). The pair give readers a lot to love in the premiere issue – and even more to look forward to as the series progresses. The series is a sequel, of sorts, to the team’s The United States of Murder Inc., though reading that limited series isn’t necessary to enjoy this story.
Jagger Rose and her companion Valentine Gallo have advanced to their mob boss’ inner circle. As a result, they’ve been invited to meet the pope. Both believe it’s a setup, but politics don’t allow them to bow out. After all, it’s the pope.
While Oeming’s artwork can be an acquired taste, he creates something memorable here. The illustrations are simple – perhaps deceptively so – but get the point across. He and writer Bendis have worked together so much that the pair add up to more than the sum of their respective parts.
And add in colorist Taki Soma, and you have some real alchemy. Soma’s colors bring Oeming’s panels to life in a way that few other artists could. Her highly stylized colors can lead to confusion at times, though. At one point, Jagger Rose is show in green with her red hair, making her look more like Gamora than any human.
Bendis’ trademark prose is on display here, as usual, though this group doesn’t have quite the number of quips we’ve come to expect. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. His characters can sometimes sound the same. This time, they are all different, and the story is richer for it.
The issue ends with a surprise reveal. But it’s surely not the last surprise that this story has in store for readers.
Murder Inc.: Jagger Rose #1 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.
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