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November 11, 2013

Black Mask Reviews: Twelve Reasons To Die #4

12RTD04Twelve Reasons To Die #4
Publisher: Black Mask
Writer(s): Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon
Artist(s): Breno Tamura & Gus Storms
Cover: Juan Doe

In The Lead Years tale, Starks finally makes his move on the DeLuca family after he’s realized they will never make him a Made Man. His last job for the family ensured a place for someone else in their ranks, and now he and the Black Suits are going to send the DeLuca’s a message. A violent, bloody, ruthless message. While in The Dead Years, Migdal’s slow and frustrating quest to collect the records for his mystery employer continues. This particular one is in the possession of Carmine Battiato, who has no intention of releasing the coveted vinyl. However, his wife has other ideas, but death is a lot closer than she realizes.

The first thing that’s very noticeable about The Lead Years story is that the pacing is a lot faster and it’s heavy on the action. Something we haven’t seen much of since the first issue, and this gives it a much different feel than the previous two issues. As Rosenberg moves things in his half of the book he continues to flesh out Starks as a bit of a strategist and forward thinker despite his brutal methods. He’s a dual sided character who gets his hands dirty with his crew, but his mind works with the precision of a razor. Allowing him to be ahead of his enemies and unpredictable, so it’s been fun to see what Rosenberg will do with him from one page to the next. These are a few of the traits that have made the bad guys in these types of stories the one we root for to a certain extent. Rosenberg has tapped into this quite well as he brings Starks into his own in this issue. With that said, Tamura’s artwork for this section of the book is spot on and just great. He nails the mood of the story and the era it takes place in.

Kindlon continues to impress with Migdal’s character even though we only get him in small doses. Though when we do get to see him there are times when he steals the show, like he almost does here. He’s a man at his wit’s end by now, and Kindlon gets that across in three enjoyable panels. This installment of The Dead Years moves pretty quick as it’s also a bit heavy on the action. Though we don’t get as much of the horror element here as in the past (though one panel is downright creepy), it’s still another strong anchor to the book. The fight between the possessed statues and Carmine was great to see, and Storms illustrates the fight choreography very well.

If there is one complaint about Twelve Reasons To Die #4, it’s that it’s over too fast. The creative teams do so well with their parts that as soon as you really start to get settled in, it’s over. It’s a very solid series that you should take a look at if you’re into crime dramas, horror, mobsters, and intense storytelling!

Infinite Speech
infinitespeech@comicattack.net

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