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Review – Noche Roja

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Noche RojaI’m a sucker for crime/noir comics and the Vertigo Crime line of books have been pretty amazing.  Noche Roja is the latest entry in the series written by Simon Oliver with art by Jason Latour.  The story takes place along the U.S./Mexican border and involves corrupt cops, politicians, sex and murder.

In the tradition of Chinatown and L.A. Confidential, writer Simon Oliver explores a hidden world of corruption where money, sex, politics and crime all add up to the same thing.

In the desert just south of the border, young women are turning up murdered. No suspects. No clues. And authorities seem uninterested in uncovering any. When ex-private eye Jack Cohen is hired to find one missing girl, he is drawn back into the shadow world between North and South. And there, he must face the terrible tragedy in his past that he’s been running from all these years. Featuring the gritty, stylized artwork of Jason Latour, NOCHE ROJA is a gripping noir tale of how the insatiable craving for cheap consumer goods leads to the ultimate cheapening of life itself.

The graphic novel is pretty solid, but not the best of the Vertigo Crime line.  But, it still stands above a lot of what else is out there and is a fine read.  The entire line is made up of quality books.  The story is solid mixing so many topics and there’s some issues mashing in so much in one story.  Past issues rise up that come into play with the current story and there’s a lot of different factions here that it all conveniently falls into place.

But, the story is good and entertaining.  It’s a good crime read, but could have also dealt more with the political dealings that are thrown in at the end.  A more streamlined antagonist would have helped a lot, instead of the various groups mashed together.

Overall though, it’s a solid entry into the line of graphic novels.  Definitely worth the purchase and the read.

Plot: Oliver has put together a pretty solid story.  It has it’s faults mainly with having too many moving parts and not enough of a focus on the antagonist.  This leads to a few items and moments that feel forced in.  It’s still an entertaining read, especially for crime story fans.  Rating: 8

Art: Latour’s art does the job.  All of the Vertigo Crime books have similar feels to them and have a solid slate of artists.  There’s a good use of shadows and the characters come off as unique and easy to distinguish.  There’s a feel to the setting and story and the art reflects it all quite well.  Rating: 8.25

Overall: The Vertigo Crime line has been great, with really solid graphic novels almost all worth the purchase.  This one isn’t the strongest of the bunch, but it’s still more solid than a lot of what else has been put out there.  If you’re a crime or noir fan, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy.  Overall rating: 8

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 181 pages    Price: $19.9     Release: Out Now

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