An interesting read, Thief of Thieves #5 takes a genre seldom seen in a comic format and makes it work. Some might find it slightly clichéd, but I found it enjoyably rich in the atmosphere and mood of the bank heist genre.
First of all, the title looks amazing. From the front cover to the internal pages, the style constantly throws back to older days, which works well with the genre plot and mood. The color choice, again, is atmospheric. Not many titles can pull off such a consistent use of orange and blues, but it evokes the atmosphere and tension of the plot perfectly.
The official description from Image:
Conrad Paulson – AKA Redmond – is making final moves for his pending heist, and the FBI may have enough on his past to be one step ahead.
As for the plot itself, this sets up the narrative in a typical crime fashion. The ‘team’ is assembled, each one with a given skill set. Think Oceans 11, only with more diverse characters. The pacing is excellent, with reliable amounts of combinations of action, plot development and a good cliffhanger at the end. As the story is written by Robert Kirkman (he’s something of a big deal in the industry these days) its good to see his reputation for interesting story telling is holding up.
As for the writing itself, its safe to say its well written. The dialogue never feels forced, and it makes for a very natural reading. Nothing can ruin a comic more than awful dialogue, so its pleasantly reassuring that the pages weren’t riddled with cheap tropes about ‘the target’ or such nonsense. Yet its not afraid to imitate its predecessors where it can benefit. The introduction of the major characters, for example, is as close to a montage as a comic book can get; its quick, its easy reading and it sums up the team without getting bogged down in several issues worth of back-story. It feels very modern, as opposed to the various older crime thrillers it takes inspiration from.
However, this itself may prove its only drawback. The title is so strongly focused on this genre, atmosphere and style, that it all depends on the individual reader’s tastes. If this kind of story doesn’t interest you, then nothing the comic does may be able to grab you. However, if you’re even vaguely interested in reading such a comic, then this is an excellent issue to pick up.