It’s a well known fact that we here at Comic Book Therapy love Thief of Thieves. The first five issues were perfectly written by Nick Spencer, and Shawn Martinbrough gave the book a look of it’s own on pencils. #6 continues the greatness of the first five issues, even though the issue doesn’t end in the best way possible.
Warning: spoilers ahead
With #5 setting up one hell of a score for the team, it would have been easy for Nick Spencer to give us a few issues of Oceans Eleven style banter. Lots of fun stuff to read, giving the reader a great sense of who these people are. But instead we get a quick issue about how Conrad betrays his team mates. Even though we know the series is about a thief finding redemption, I never thought it would come this fast. The entire issue plays against what you expect to happen, and it’s fun to read. Spencer plays with a lot of cliches from heist movies, like the line “You think this is easy for me?”. He spins it on it’s head well and will surprise even veteran fans of heist films/comics. There is one time narrative shift in the book, and while it doesn’t break the issue, it doesn’t seem necessary.
The biggest surprise that Spencer gives us is the quick ending. Spencer is a great writer, and could have stretched the events in this issue. It’s a stylistic choice and one that no one can really complain about. Much like the rest of the issue, it does surprise the reader. The ending comes out of left field, but not in the way that breaks the story. Sadly, the ending doesn’t land as well as it could have. The issue abruptly ends, leaving the reader with a “that’s it?” on their mind. I had a general idea about where this series was going during the first few issues, but after #6, it’s somewhat up in the air. I’m not one to read solicits, besides check out the covers, so I honestly don’t know where Spencer is going here. It’s great to see as a reader, especially one who reads a lot of comics, to not have a clue where a comic is going.
Shawn Martinbrough’s pencils continue to amaze. The entire issue looks like a storyboard for a potential episode. AMC probably loves this, as it gives them a great idea for what the episode should look like. The always talk heavy issues cater to Martinbrough’s strengths, as it gives him a chance to draw characters with lots of personality. Readers can get a great read on who they are and how they will react in this situation. The body language use rivals Chris Samnee as some of the best in the industry. While the issue has a realistic feel, the heavy line use gives the issue a comic book feel. Too often artists try to be as realistic as possible, forgetting where the story is being published. But Martinbrough gives us the best of both worlds. As a reviewer, I can see this book becoming a bitch to review, as it’s going to be harder and harder to find ways to say “this book is great and you should be reading it.”
Thief of Thieves #6 gets 4/5.