Review: Rebirth of the Gangster #1
Rebirth of the Gangster is described as “a crime, family-driven drama that mixes elements from Othello, Breaking Bad, The Wire, 100 Bullets, and Criminal.” That’s a lot of awesome to live up to, and the first issue sets up a series that definitely falls into the intriguing end of things.
Written by CJ Standal with art by Juan Romera, the first issue is exactly what I look for when checking indie comics and it’s a genre I personally enjoy, a crime/gangster story with a focus on the characters instead of the violence. While Standal mentions a lot of pop culture in his pitch for the series, one that’s not mentioned is The Godfather, and with some scenes and the talk of honoring one’s family, I feel out of the crime stories mentioned that is one that has the most influence in this first issue.
Standal also has a diverse cast with the main focus on Marcus, a rich black lawyer, and Hunter, a poor white blue collar worker. Both of their moms will play heavily into the story–Marcus’s mom is a first generation Hmong-American, and part of her story will focus on that struggle.
The two main antagonists to Marcus and Hunter will be Lorena and Kaitlyn. Lorena is a homosexual, Latina cop who grew up in the inner city and struggled with her faith, her sexuality and getting out of the hood. Kaitlyn is a black lawyer who works with Marcus, and she comes from a more privileged background than Lorena.
Lizzeth, a Latina teacher; Dennis, a white man just released from prison; and Devonte, a black man wrongfully imprisoned, close out the rest of our cast of characters. While their story lines might start out separate from Hunter and Marcus, all the characters and story lines will converge.
With an interesting cast, someone for everyone, Standal does an excellent job introducing us to some of the characters making sure to give us a lot of depth to flesh them out. Hopefully this is a standard for the series as we rarely see comics written with that as such a focus.
Romera’s art brings it all to life and with a diverse cast, we also get diverse looks. Each character is unique in that department which is fantastic to see. Everyone is identifiable and standard cookie cutter designs that are used over and over between different characters are nowhere to be seen.
So, good story? Check. Diverse cast? Check. Solid art? Check. This is a comic to check out and support.
Story: CJ Standal Art: Juan Romera
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read
CJ Standal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review