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United States vs Murder Inc. #1 Advance Review: Offbeat, Strange and Darkly Delightful

Jagger reflects on the death of her father in class when her Uncle Jack shows up to take her on a trip. Jack tells Jagger about his job, and the two go to a secluded warehouse where Jack has the man who killed Jagger's father restrained. This is the moment that will decide Jagger's future; does she have what it takes to be a killer?

United States vs Murder Inc. #1 cover by Michael Avon Oeming
United States vs Murder Inc. #1 cover by Michael Avon Oeming

United States vs Murder Inc. #1 is my first experience with Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's Murder Inc. material. I know, I'm a bad Bendis fan, but I'm trying to do better now, okay?

Given the plot summary put out for this comic, United States vs Murder Inc. #1 is a far more focused and personal story than I was expecting. The summary implied some kind of mass governmental struggle against the crime families.

Regardless, this story was a darkly entertaining trip about a little girl trying to deal with her grief. Jagger is put at a crossroads by her uncle, but there's not all the hand-wringing and digression that such a story often entails. The plot moves quickly, and the book can be knocked out pretty quickly if one was so inclined.

Michael Avon Oeming's artwork is enjoyably cartoonish, but he still taps into a noir aesthetic. The visuals are brimming with personality and atmosphere. The inkwork is especially impressive in this one, and Taki Soma's color work adds even more flavor with its frequent dark reds, sickly greens, and dim purples cast against pitch black.

United States vs Murder Inc. #1 is an offbeat tail of a little girl and her uncle. It's dark, but it has a sense of humor to it. The pacing is quicker than one would expect, and it's an all-around odd affair. I enjoyed it a lot and can recommend it easily. Check this one out tomorrow.

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Joshua DavisonAbout Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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