100 Bullets
The Hard Way

Author: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99
1 84576 041 7
Available 26 August 2005

The bars never close in New Orleans but, for some, memories can't be drowned
- even with all the cheap beer in the world. For Wylie Times, it's a woman named Rose and a briefcase from one Agent Graves that haunt his broken down life. He loved her, she died. Graves gave him a gun, 100 untraceable bullets, and a man named Shepherd to blame. Now Wylie's about to find out the rest of the story - including the truth about Shepherd and his employer, the Trust. What he learns will turn his world inside out - and permanently redraw the battle lines of Graves's private little war...

The Hard Way is an interesting edition to the 100 Bullets series. Wylie Times spends a great deal of this story trying to track down the killer of an old flame called Rose. He's convinced that a guy called Shepherd had a hand in it, but the truth is much more sinister.

There are some great characters here. There's Gabe, the mentally challenged trumpeter with a strange disfigured frame. But, while he may never be able to touch the skin of April, one of the bar's most beautiful patrons, he manages to touch her soul with his musical talents. Unfortunately he is also not the smartest cookie, and this proves to be his undoing. Lono is a mysterious thug who holds a few secrets of his own. Did he employ Shepherd to kill Rose? And if so, why?

This collection is not just for 100 Bullets's fanatics. It is a self contained tale and requires no prior knowledge of the universe. Eduardo Risso's artwork compliments Brain Azzarello's harsh script - the end result being extremely satisfying.

Ray Thompson

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