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‘A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance Vol. 1’ TPB (review)

Written by Rick Remender
Art by André Lima Araújo
Published by Image Comics

 

A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance manages the rare feat of being intriguing, thrilling, and off putting all at once. It’s technically impressive. This first volume has plenty of action.

However, if you like your collections to tell a complete story, even if it leaves some dangling threads, this first volume feels incomplete.

Our protagonist goes unnamed, yet strangely he is named Sonny in Image Comics solicitation.

We meet him in Vancouver, going about a seemingly normal day. The book as a whole, but the first chapter in particular, is almost dialogue free. We accompany Sonny on a bus ride to a seemingly distant suburb.

Kudos to Rick Remender and Andre Lima Araujo for capturing that feeling of riding urban mass transit to a far-off suburban locale. I have had that experience, and it’s like being lost without being lost. You don’t want anyone to realize you are lost or uncomfortable. The rider is at the mercy of the bus driver, and you are just as likely to end up in strange woods watching a frog as end up wherever you’re headed to on time.

In this Adventure to the Suburbs, our protagonist has a random run in while shopping. He later finds the house he’s supposed to be in, only to find a gruesome sight. This opens the door to a conspiracy involving the dark web, sex trafficking, and assassins for hire.

Sonny isn’t just your average guy. He has his own set of skills, and he already seems to know more than he lets on. The story finds him rescuing a mother and child while pretending to be a paid assassin.

RIck Remender’s  story is full fast paced and full of momentum. So fast that it’s almost over before you start thinking “Who is this person? What is he doing?” He does not have to play all his cards in the first issue, but this first collection ends up a little too withholding. There are too many secrets left, and after five issues a reader is left wondering why we should care about Sonny.

Araujo’s art does a lot of the heavy lifting on a story that is lacking in depth. I have never been to Vancouver. My first time noticing Vancouver was watching Rumble In The Bronx, oddly enough. Jackie Chan fighting in a Bronx with snowcapped mountains in the back ground was unintentionally hilarious. Not to mention various CW and SyFy Channel shows that have filmed there. Araujo’s art gives Vancouver a very lively personality. Beyond that, the action scenes are propulsive and fun to follow. What the plot and machinations of our protagonist lack in clarity, the action scenes make up for.  Well lit, every movement makes sense.

I was put off by a scene presumably featuring the head of the cabal. Another perverse powerful man. I am certain this scene could have been depicted without being gross and exploitative.  There is no pay off in this first volume, so you’re left just feeling gross.

I am assuming that this story will run two or three volumes. Hopefully some plot points will pay off by then.

As it stands, A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance is great on the high-octane action, but stops you from fully engaging with the character. It might be a great read if future issues are collected as an omnibus, on it’s own it is merely a delivery of ultra violence. Your mileage may vary.

 

 

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