Review – Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story

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Dark Rain: A New Orleans StoryMuch has been written and filmed about Katrina and the events surrounding the failure of our government to protect it’s citizens.  Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story, published by Vertigo, written by Mat Johnson with art by Simon Gane take on the tragic events through the eyes of a couple of not so typical characters.

The story is a crime thriller set in the days before, during and after the national tragedy.  The story follows two ex-cons and a plan to rob a bank.  The beauty of the story is how it deftly touches upon the chaos and mood that permeated that time.  The story could of easily fell into the incorrectly reported events, but instead focuses on the tragedy that fell not upon a race but a class.

There’s subtle commentary here.  Reasons for the slow response are hinted at as well as the reaction from surrounding communities.  No finger is squarely pointed, but a lot is left for the reader to chew on.

The crime thriller is good on it’s own.  But wrap that with the social and political commentary and you have an amazing read.

Plot: Johnson could easily have gone to the worst of stories, many of them now proven false, but instead through small touches and moments the best of humanity is shown.  At the same time the focus is on the failure of our government in protecting it’s people.  This extends to the actions of the main characters and their actions.  Much like the citizens, they must take their fate into their own hands and by that alone their survival will be ensured.  Much like the various individuals of New Orleans, their fates vary.  The story is haunting and just fantastic.  Rating: 9.5

Art: The art from Gane is great with a great color palette that fits the haunting crime tale.  At no point does the art go over the top and sensationalistic, instead it’s focus is on helping to propel the story and tell the people’s story.  Rating: 8

Overall: Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story fits it’s region it’s story tells.  There’s a mix of thriller and magic that’s perfect for the region.  Along with a crime thriller, we’re given a heart breaking tale and there’s moments I teared up.  You’ll be transported back to that tragic time and wonder how things could of gone so wrong, that we even have this story to tell.  Overall rating: 9

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 151 pages    Price: $24.99    Release Date: 8/18/2010