Kickback (Dark Horse – Lloyd)

Joe Canelli is a crooked cop working in a corrupt police force. Joe is haunted by nightmares of powerlessness. When his partner is brutally murdered and he’s betrayed by his colleagues, it appears that Joe’s nightmares are coming true. With his back against the wall there’s only one thing he can do–turn against the criminal network that he once embraced.

While it has been out for a while, it wasn’t until very recently I had the chance to read this dark, noir-ish, 96-page self-contained cop drama. While this is usually not my favorite genre, what really brought my attention to it this book was that it was written and drawn by David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), which is on my all-time favorite shelf.

To call Kickback dark and gritty wouldn’t do it justice, it goes a bit beyond that. It’s the tale of Joe, a cop on the take who is haunted by his own decisions, his split loyalties, his own conscious (coming through the voices of family and friends), a system that he believes in unfixable and a deep-down desire for what is right. David Lloyd brings the reader into Joe’s world through great dialog (both internal and external) and description… we walk with Joe every painful step on his near-impossible journey from apathy toward redemption. But it’s not just the story that will get you sweating. Along with his writing skills, David Lloyd brings his incredibly unique artwork to this project. The world of Kickback is filled with gray shadows, merging backgrounds and enough of an oppressive atmosphere that the pressure gets under your skin. For any fan of the hard-boiled crime-cop drama, Kickback would be the definition of an enjoyable read.

Hey, need that Father’s Day present?… a hard covered self-contained story at $12.95 is not a bad deal at all. Pullbox Warning: Due to the story content, if and when Kickback is opted for a movie, it will definitely be PG-13.

Grade: A-

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Updated: June 26, 2008 — 7:44 am

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