This review is pretty much spoiler free, I do reveal a character’s name so if you’re really sensitive about possible spoilers it’s toward the bottom but it doesn’t give anything away at all. Now to the review: Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer have a pretty good book on their hands with Thief of Thieves. I’m an admirer of what Kirkman does, so it was hard not to get excited about anything he’s associated with. The story was created by Kirkman, but Nick Spencer has the writing duties. Now let me back-track to the first issue just for a minute. At the end of issue one, Kirkman talks about selling a non-superhero comic to the public. He says, and this proves fascinating and true in both issues so far, “This book brings to the comics medium the same kind of story you’d get in a movie, novel or TV show, but we’re utilizing the strengths of what our medium has to offer in order to tell the story.”
This story continues directly from issue 1 (surprise, surprise) and starts with Redmond talking to his apprentice and accomplice in crime from the boat heist in issue 1 about his decision to quit the business. Issue one felt like something we’d seen before with the “best thief there is nobody can stop him and his crew” theme before, but with the last few pages it turned into something different. The second issue is where there really begins to take shape. Redmond gets a call, cut to the next section with the title card “Chapter Two. The Thief And His Wife” where we see him trying to reconcile with his estranged wife, Audrey. Redmond crashes her date and starts the “trying to win her back” part of the story. Now I want give too much away here about Audrey because it is really one of the main focuses of the book, but let’s say she is well aware of his career. This did cause a strain in the marriage, but it wasn’t the only point leading to the divorce.
Due to the conversation Audrey and Redmond have, we start a series of flashbacks. The flashbacks center on Redmond robbing a jewelry store with his partner in crime James. James and Conrad…who’s Conrad you ask? Oh yeah, it turns out Redmond isn’t his real name. This adds even further mystery to the character we know little about from book 1 and 2. James and Conrad/Redmond have some comical banter as they run into trouble and make their escape. We flash back to the restaurant where a little more information about Audrey and Conrad/Redmond’s relationship is given, then it’s back to the robbery. It turns out the heist had an ulterior motive. We end up with Conrad/Redmond going to a storage unit where, we’re led to believe, most of his personal belongings are. Thinking about the last thing Audrey told him, we leave our main man looking at a picture from his past he will have to face in a next installment.
Overall, this story is the slow-down from the previous one. We have a very little bit of back-story given for the characters we’re going to be focusing on and some hints about what happened to one of the others from the flashback. Not to say that it isn’t captivating, it fits in with Kirkman’s comparison to a TV show. It’s all well done, and there’s enough action in the middle section to keep you from feeling it’s all just one big conversation between exes. The art is very well done; the use of the page is some of the best around. Every page is a three or four panel wide-screen type deal which adds to the TV or movie effect.
Bottom line: If you liked the first one you’ll dig this one. If you like the genre of heist movies like the Ocean’s movies (it has that vibe to me) go pick up the first one and grab this one too. It’s something a little different from your regular superhero, fight-‘em, blow-it-up comic but it’s worth the time.
Thief of Thieves #2
Story: Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer
Art: Shawn Martinbrough
Colors: Felix Serrano
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover: Shawn Martinbrough, Felix Serrano
Publisher: Image Comics
Mar. 14 $2.99