cover image The Killer, Vol. 1

The Killer, Vol. 1

Matz, . . Archaia, $19.95 (127pp) ISBN 978-1-932386-44-8

A bestseller in Europe, Le Tueur has finally reached America. A French hit man has long been at the top of his game, but the psychic weight of his crimes is slowly catching up with him, and, after he botches one job and attracts a policeman determined to bring him down, he may be breaking down just when he needs his skills the most. The French have long been masters of moody noir films like Band of Outsiders or Le Samourai , so The Killer carries some heavy expectations. Fortunately, Jacamon's art is more than up to the task. His layouts are exciting, equally adept at choreographing brutal action, placing the “camera” for maximum suspense, and playing with panel borders to convey the protagonist's gradual mental breakdown. His figures are reminiscent of Darwyn Cooke's (The Spirit ) cartoony realism, using deceptively simple lines and expressive faces to suggest far greater depth to the characters. Saturating panels with washed-out greens, blues and yellows, he changes palettes to establish shifts in location or flashbacks. The story is slight and a little disjointed, relying too heavily on self-consciously “cool” narration and abrupt flashbacks to pad out a by-the-numbers plot. Fans of Goddard or Melville should enjoy how well Jacamon captures their aesthetic on the page. (July)