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‘Murder Inc. Volume 2: Versus America’ TPB (review)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma
Published by Dark Horse Comics


When I first encountered Murder Inc. Volume One, it was one of those books that were a pleasant surprise.

Set on an alternate Earth where the mob never lost its grip on America, volume one of this series introduced readers to Valentine Gallo and the elite hit woman Jagger Rose.

Volume One ends with a very heavy status quo-changing reveal. Valentine discovers his mother promised him to the FBI as the ultimate undercover agent embedded to take the Five Families.

Volume Two continues that setup back and takes readers in a surprising and wildly different direction than anticipated.

In this installment, Valentine shares the stage with Jagger Rose, introducing readers to her shocking origin.

At twelve years old, her uncle allows her to take revenge on her father’s killer.

Jagger eagerly rises to the occasion and begins her path of being the most feared enforcer of the Five Families.

While Bendis is a prolific writer, he is sometimes uneven, and readers never know what Bendis they will get.

However, in Volume Two, Bendis is in his wheelhouse as he is a master of modern crime noir. Together with Oeming, the pair create a follow-up to volume one in which readers will find themselves not quite where they expected. The writing is sharp and witty. The art is beautiful and immersive.

Where Volume Two goes storywise is not where I would have taken our main characters, I would have gone with a more traditional and predictable story. However, Bendis and Oeming upend expectations as the Five Families and the United States go to all-out war, in which only one organization can survive!

Final Score: 5 out of 5


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