100 Bullets
Strychnine Lives

Author: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Titan Books
RRP 8.99
ISBN 1 84576 252 5
Available 23 June 2006

The march between the Trust and its one-time enforcer Agent Graves has reached full engagement, and with most of the pawns now captured it's time for the knights to start running the field. For the houses of the Trust and the former Minutemen alike, that means cementing alliances, consolidating positions - and targeting more major pieces for elimination. But as the kings manoeuvre to stay out of check, they may be setting up their queen's for sacrifice. The question is, do they have the strategy to back their plays - or the strength on the board?...

Strychnine Lives is the ninth volume in the 100 Bullets graphic novel series. The trail of bullets lead to a hotel in Miami, where a young bellboy named Tino ends up befriending a reckless mobster for a little extra cash on the side - money that he hopes will help him bring his young son up in an environment void of violence. Sadly getting in with the wrong crowd is never a good idea, as Tino quickly finds out.

Brian Azzarello weaves an interesting story set in Miami's seedy nightlife. This is a tragic tale that illustrates exactly why a bellboy should not stray from carrying bags and delivering room service.

Eduardo Risso's artwork compliments Azzarello's story perfectly - Risso seems to be able to push all the right buttons to suggest much more gore than he actually depicts.

If you've read any of the other 100 Bullets collections, then you'll instantly love this. And, if you're new to this series, this is as good a place as any to test the water - you won't be disappointed.

Nick Smithson

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