Thief of Thieves #17 starts the ‘big heist’ pretty much spoken about since the beginning of the series. There’s a lot riding on this, so its only natural the title is going to take its time and ease into things. So how is the first sampling?
The official description from Image:
Caravaggio. Picasso. Van Gogh. It’s time for these legends to get acquainted with a real master: Redmond. But is even he daring enough to steal from the Mafia?
This issue has a slow pacing, but that isn’t to say nothing happens. Even when the real operations begin, Thief of Thieves #17 still threads the cat and mouse elements throughout. Yet this isn’t just a two-way conflict, as the issue deftly shows the various sides at work. It adds to the tension and I’ll happily take on-going build-ups of suspense over poor shock revelations any day – in this genre, it’s the way to go.
Andy Diggle deserves a lot of respect for his writing, arguably taking a complex plot and ensuring nothing is lost in translation. It’s not perfect, as some may struggle with certain elements (if that’s the case, I recommend getting a board, some string and post it notes…) but overall it’s an impressive job. The back-story is alluded to enough without taking up valuable page time or dialogue, giving readers exactly what they want in a crime thriller – the crime.
Of course, Shawn Martinborough is still here with his high quality artwork. The detail is here, but this issue doesn’t grant any unique opportunities to show off with camera angles, vistas or anything spectacular. Felix Serrano provides colors but there is the typical blue/orange obsession at work here that does underplay the issue (especially on second-readings). This is Italy! It shouldn’t look like the harbor.. or the tower issue.. or any other scene from the series with the ‘super-edgy’ contrast.
Overall, it’s a good read despite its occasional short comings. The potential is there, if not entirely all met, but it will sustain interest for fans of the series.