Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Back to Brooklyn #1
Image Comics
Ennis, Palmiotti & Vukelic

I purchased this comic because I read some solicitations and some ads for it and it sounded interesting. I really had no expectations. I found the issue to be kind of cool in the story and a little awkward in the execution. Personally, I found that a story generally has a certain pulse or a vibe. I wasn’t able to find it in this comic. I liked the art, liked the characters, liked the setup, but I just couldn’t get comfortable with the comic. This will probably change in the comic issues for the arc.

The story is simple. One brother, Bob, gets arrested and makes a deal to sell the other brother, Paul, down the river. The problem is that the brother about to be sold down a river takes the family of the first brother hostage. The one that had been arrested is given the weekend to rescue his family.

The issue opens with the arrest of Bob. He is ready to sing when his son, Michael calls and tells him he’s with his Uncle Paul. Paul gets on the phone and throws a veiled threat at Bob. Meanwhile, cops sent to that location are gunned down. The comic takes an odd turn from here.

Bob requests to be let go to find his family. After some words exchanged, the cops and the FBI agree to it. The odd part about this is the conversation between the FBI agent and the deputy commissioner. It felt unrealistic and overly sarcastic. To some degree I felt like I was missing something as I read and re-read it. I guess I was trying to determine if the agent was really in the mob. It was a difficult scene to fully digest and right or wrong I felt it was out of place.

Bob heads home to Brooklyn. He confronts some of his cronies. This part also added to my confusion. I wasn’t sure if these had been Bob’s crew or just cohorts. I mean, he must have been in charge of someone, right? The dialogue among the group playing cards also had me struggling to keep up with the names and events they were talking about. Sure the dialogue could ultimately be rendered throwaway but I wasn’t sure and I strained to understand the scene and the characters mentioned.

The comic ends with Bob finding a friend and Paul flexing some muscle.

The issue was good but it didn’t grab me. The artwork was different. To me, it felt like a Stanley Kubrick film. The faces were serious and added drama with almost lifeless looks. The characters had a creepy look to them that I liked. I also liked the use of tone in the art. It helped to add depth to the story.

As I mentioned before there was a pulse that I just couldn’t find here. Maybe I wanted more of a look at the mob’s hierarchy or I needed some context for where the characters were or something. I can’t really put my finger on it but there something I needed to make the issue click.

As Palmiotti mentioned in his letter in the back the logo is awesome. The cover proudly displays it and it makes the story look important before you even open it. The logo creation and selection was a real coup.

I think this series will unfold more and more in the next couple of issues. I like mob stories and revenge tales so I think this story is right in my wheelhouse. I’m hoping the next issue will prove I’m right.

2 out of 5 geek goggles