Torpedo, Vol. One

Enrique Sanchez Abuli, Author, Jordi Bernet, Illustrator, Alex Toth, Illustrator
Enrique Sánchez Abulí, Jordi Bernet, and Alex Toth, trans. from the Spanish by Jimmy Palmiotti. IDW, $17.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-61377-516-5
Hardcover - 143 pages - 978-1-60010-454-1
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The long-running Spanish comic appears in an English version, translated by American comics star Palmiotti. Firing out staccato tales of a ruthless hit man in 1930s New York, Abulí has avoided the usual trope of running with an antihero. Instead, Luca “Torpedo” Torelli is a sadistic bastard with not a shred of decency inside his shriveled heart. The stories, told nonchronologically and in fact with no sense of linear narrative at all, are fast-paced short comics that always finish with a violent punch line. Toth’s art for the first two stories is stunning, while Bernet, too, luxuriates in black and white, a skill later transferred to the western Jonah Hex. While it’s easy to drown in the gorgeous art, having Torpedo as such a thoroughly unlikable character does have severe drawbacks: an undercurrent of misogyny stains the story lines, with women relegated to props to be leered at and brutally raped by Torpedo himself. While that is clearly a deliberate choice on Abulí’s part, it does make for highly uncomfortable reading, even for those accustomed to the sex and violence of hard-boiled comics. (Dec.)
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