The first arc of the critically acclaimed Thief of Thieves has reached it’s end. Much like the last six issues of this series, it is remarkably strong. The first six issues showed that this series would work well on TV, but #7 is the first to have the distinct feel of a TV show. The issue almost works better when it drops the comic book aspects.
Nick Spencer forgoes some of the comic book-y aspects of this series and makes it feel like a TV show. Many have complained that the series never needed to be a comic book and could have made the jump to TV on its own. But the book is still working well in comic form. What would be a great idea would be Thief of Thieves to bring back the comic book aspects. It’s not that these aspects are sorely missed, as Spencer writes a great issue. But I’m reading a comic book, and would like the story to be some-what comic book-y. It has plenty of the banter and situational humor that Oceans 11 used to great success. Most of the lingering plot threads are brought to a close, and every set up has a pay off. It’s pure fun through and through, with the reader saying “oh no he didn’t.” Much like the Oceans movies, there is a huge suspension of disbelief. Some of the police procedural parts are simplified, since we need the hero to win in the end. It would be nice for a thief related story to skip this, as it would make the “thieving” much harder, thus more interesting.
Thief of Thieves #7 acts as the last fifteen minutes of an hour-long show, giving all of the big reveals. They come one after another, never letting the reader breathe. But the biggest reveal is what the book will be like going forward. While the direction is a slight off-shoot of “thief steals to help people,” the new direction is in the same vein. When rereading all seven issues, it’s clear that #7 marks the end of a long episodic arc, or the end of season one. The ending feels like a season finale reveal, with the general trend feeling like a season two plot line. With The Walking Dead not sticking to the comic much, it would be easy to assume that Thieves would do its own thing.
Shawn Martinbrough pencils another great issue. It’s full of personality, and looks nothing like anything on the stands. Much like the story, Martinbrough’s pencils look more like a TV show than before. It’s as if someone was took pictures of the pilot episode and used them as panels. The thick line work, which I have praised in past reviews, is still one the best parts of his art. The smug looks on Redmond never get old, and gave me a great chuckle whenever they appeared. It has the organic charisma that a character like Redmond needs to be the best thief around.
Thief of Thieves is a great series that will no doubt get better with time. With James Asmus (Generation Hope and Gambit) joining the writing team next month, I’m nothing but excited.
Thief of Thieves #7 gets 4/5.