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Review – The Killer: Modus Vivendi #1

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The Killer: Modus Vivendi #1 written by Matz and illustrated by Luc Jacamon is a Hollywood movie in comic form.  The story focuses on a hitman who comes out of semi-retirement out of boredom.

Modus Vivendi, Part One. A new story arc begins for this Eisner-nominated series! In Venezuela, the “sanctuary” that he chose to withdraw from the world for four long years, our killer reappears on the scene. What brought him back? Boredom, fatigue, the need for action? His old friend, Mariano, recommends him for a quick-and-dirty freelance job. Except that the job, obviously, is worse than it seemed at first. Remove one banker and one international oil broker, sure, no problem. But why is his third and final target a nun, Madre Luisa, so devoted, selfless and invested in her ministry to the poorest of the poor in all of Latin America? A perfect jumping-on spot for readers new to the series!

The excellence of this comic is that it doesn’t go over the top when it comes to action, it’s pacing is perfect with events playing out as they need.  This is a thinking man’s comic, worthy of a movie adaptation.  Details are slowly revealed as the events occur.  The targets, their connections, and who’s behind it.  You as a reader are given just enough, and never more than you need to.

If you want a great “thinking/action” comic, you can do so much worse than The Killer: Modus Vivendi.  In fact I’d go say this is an excellent noir read that ranks up with the best out there.  This is a comic series that deserves to be a part of your collection.

Plot: The plot and dialogue by Matz is perfectly paced and the characters never cross over into the stereotypes they could so easily be.  Instead we’re given a hitman who’s unrepentant and sees the logic in his job.  And to him that’s what it is, a job.  It’s a refreshing take on a character, one that has no moral issues with his work, no matter how repugnant it may be.  We’re walked through the logic as he completes his job as well as why he’s doing what he’s doing.  A great and entertaining read.  Rating: 9.25

Art: Luc Jacamon has a great style that fits this comic series and it definitely fits it’s European roots.  The style is just fantastic with a perfect blend of detail.  The only thing that stands out as an issue is the lack of panel variation.  Each page is a mix of blocks, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  But, I can’t help wonder what could be with a little variation or breaking of panels.  Overall though, the comic is quite a pleasure to look at.  Rating: 9

Overall: The Killer: Modus Vivendi is a European thriller for the summer.  The biggest complaint is each issue is so short, how much greater would this be to be able to read it straight through as a trade paperback or graphic novel!?  It says a lot that I want to read more of it, and was actually disappointed it ended so soon.  Now, who’s going to be the intelligent studio head that picks this one up for the big screen?  Overall rating: 9.25

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 32 pages    Price: $3.95     Release: 5/5/2010

Archaia provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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