Without spoiling too much, Thief of Thieves #26 marks a significant change in both the story and the direction of the title. Personally, I think this is something that it’s very much in need of, but this it manage to pull it off with a smooth sense of style, or just an awkward shift to the next arc?
The official description from Image:
How does the world’s greatest thief relax? Even on vacation, Redmond is always working…
From the start, it’s quite clear this issue is trying to offer Redmond a sense of resolution. The character has always been troubled, not least of all from a title that hasn’t known what it really wants to be. For a series that started off as a bank/heist thriller, it quickly went into general gangsta territory and Redmond as a character got mixed up. Here, this issue tries to address that and get to the core of who Redmond is, before swiftly moving him aside.
Is this good or bad? Honestly, I don’t think it’s dealt the most smoothly, but that’s largely because Andy Diggle is focused on setting things up for the next issue. This could have been spread across previous issues but, then again, a welcome gap is no bad thing in itself.
Visually, we still have the same team here. While I love Shawn Martinborough’s pencils, I find the overuse of oranges and blues from Adriano Lucas looses any impact the art could have. Orange, blue, orange, blue.. aside from stark shadows, it all starts to feel the same. Still, it does look good on a panel-by-panel basis.
In short, this issue really isn’t much of a delivery, more of a promise. When you shake things up, it’s the next issue that really has to deliver. A new change is a new chance and you can’t do them that often, so Thief of Thieves really needs to up its game if it wants to continue.