Review: Sunset from Christos Gage Jorge Lucas and Top Cow #Sunset #TopCow
Short Version: An original graphic novel about a man that has made a career at violence that he finally got away from but eventually catches up to him. A good read, but ultimately lacks much depth beyond the violence and revenge tale.
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Jorge Lucas
|The cover of Sunset from TopCow.com|
Sunset is an original graphic novel from Top Cow’s Minotaur Press imprint and I kinda grabbed it on a lark. I mean, it had a cool looking cover and an Clint Eastwood type with a smoking gun, so how could I go wrong with that? Well, luckily it’s got a pretty sweet setup: Nick Bellamy is a 78-year-old man living with his wife in relative solitude. We join him as we see life passing him by. He doesn’t understand the new technology or the things younger people are into and he doesn’t care to. He seems set in his ways not because he couldn’t learn different but because he believes his ways are better. Still, no one gets old without living through life first and – it turns out – that, as a younger man, Nick was a man with only one marketable skill: violence. Still, when your stock-in-trade is pain, you’re sure to have something catch up to you eventually. So we get to see what Nick had to do to get his life of solitude and how it all comes rushing back at him now.
The book is black and white, and Lucas’ art is ink-heavy and is strong throughout the book, but is especially wonderful in capturing the look and feel of Las Vegas. The story itself moves quickly and it’s entertaining to watch Nick do what he does best. This is a violent book, although not ultra-violent by any means, and I was always interested to see if there was a happy ending in this story for Nick or not. We learn a lot about Nick and his history over the course of the book, but – mostly – this is the story of a man that goes seeking his revenge and is confronted with more of his past than he expected on the way. If you like Taken or Payback or any number of other films where a very competent person has something taken from him and goes about exacting his revenge in a calculating manner then this is certainly a book for you. Ultimately, the book never evolves past that sort of narrative, although it shows glimmers that it might do so.
Overally, Sunset is a very good read. Nick is well-developed over the course of the graphic novel and I was never quite sure how it was going to end (needless to say, it did not end the way I expected it to). For those that like ‘competence stories’, where you watch an expert execute what he does as well as is can be done, it’s an easy book to recommend. Still, what you see is what you get on the surface. It’s a good action book that I would have loved to have seen go a little deeper, but never does. It’s up for order on Amazon for $17.61 (although you should really get it from a comic shop) or you can get it from Comixology for $14.99, which is how I read it. You can also check out the first 22 pages for $.99.