cover image The Executor

The Executor

Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti, DC/Vertigo Crime, $19.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-4012-1385-5

Joe Ullen, once an NHL enforcer and now a sullen and unwilling retiree, learns that Miriam, his high school sweetheart, is dead. Named as her executor, Joe returns to his former hometown, Elora, N.Y., an economically depressed, institutionally racist community. Armed more with stubborn determination and indifference to personal risk and injury than brilliance or keen observation, Joe begins to uncover the events leading up to Miriam's supposed accident. In a corrupt, dying town populated almost entirely by villains and victims, Joe brings to bear his personal and unacknowledged experience with the dark side of human nature. Italian artist Mutti's black and white art complements the bleak shades-of-dark-gray world Evans has created. Evans never misses an opportunity for grimness, from the nature of the long-running series of crimes hiding in Elora's shadows to the awful secret Joe shared with Miriam. Aside from those who appear just long enough to be victims, the characters are morally compromised at best and many are monsters; one almost expects to see Elora swept away in a rain of fire in the manner of Sodom and Gomorrah. (May)