Review: The Sheriff of Babylon #4

The Sheriff of Babylon #4 coverThe danger is mounting, but Chris is no closer to finding out who killed his trainee than he was when this whole mess started. After their enemies make attempts on the lives of Nassir and his wife, the Iraqi couple seeks asylum in Chris’s barracks, leading to a gathering of all the principle players when Sofia arrives to tell Chris a shocking secret.

The fourth issue of The Sheriff of Babylon kicks off with some interesting Islamic history telling the story of Saffiya and by the end of this portion of the comic, you’ll begin to contemplate who the “sheriff” in the title actually is.

That layered thought provoking aspect is one of the numerous examples of how the comic gets you to think. Three issues in and writer Tom King has me examining the series so far.

At first glance, Sheriff of Babylon might seem like a simple police procedural, but set against post-war Iraq it’s as much an examination of US foreign policy, geopolitics, and nation building as it is a dead body. This issue too really makes that clear with a revelation at the end of the issue which either really shakes things up going forward or shows the long historical ties within the country.

The story is also a classic mob story shifted to a different location and replacing the stereotypical Italian with Iraqis. The double crosses, the numerous players, it’s a classic story in a new setting, and one that shows that genre has international appeal and is truly universal.

Mitch Gerads art is stunning and ads to the brutal nature of the story. He does a fantastic job of mixing the quiet moments of discussion along with brutal scenes, but what impresses me the most about his art is the detail that he includes that visually tell the story as much as King’s words.

The Sheriff of Babylon is a fantastic adult series exploring recent history packaged in familiar pop entertainment and a genre that we often see. It’s a riveting series that has me looking forward to the next issue and I seriously have no idea what to expect next. I just know it’s going to be amazing.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.7 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review