New York City, late 1970s. Times Square is a haven for drugs, peep shows, pimps and prostitutes. That deranged killer Son of Sam still stalks its streets. The city teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, while the ’77 blackouts prove just how close to anarchy the city really is.
This is the world of The Kitchen, a new eight-issue miniseries from Vertigo.
The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew are the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but now they’re all serving time. Their wives – Kath, Raven, and Angie – have got it all stacked against them. They’re three women trying to make it in the predominantly male world of violent organized crime, and they’ve decided to keep running the family rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.
But the trio soon learns that they can only live on their husbands’ name for so long. Sooner or later they’re going to need to make their own name out on the streets.
In the Kitchen, you don’t earn respect staying at home.
I’m a sucker for crime stories, and set that story in the rough 70s on top of it, and I’m set. I went into The Kitchen #1 knowing nothing, and walking out wanting to read the entire eight issue run now. It’s clear writer Ollie Masters and artist Ming Doyle went into this series hoping to evoke the classic gangster/crime stories, and the first issue nails it in tone and look.
The story, like a lot of mob/crime tales, relies on archetypes and stereotypes, but it’s what I’d expect and want from a story like this. Each character stands out, with their very unique personalities, and how the story breaks down in the beginning is interesting, reminding me of the opening credits of a movie. And that’s what this story, and comic feels like, a movie. So far it’s as good as a lot of the classics I enjoy in the genre.
I really can’t gush enough as to how much I enjoyed this issue. I love this first issue, it nails everything I’m looking for in this type of story, and very well might be my favorite first issue of the year.
Story: Ollie Masters Art: Ming Doyle
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Vertigo provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review