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Published on March 4th, 2016 | by Noel Thorne

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The Violent #3 Review

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There should be a word or phrase for new titles that appear fully-formed, are gobsmackingly incredible and deserve a wider audience. Like when The Wire or Breaking Bad started and before they became popular you wanted to tell everyone you knew and didn’t know to watch it – “breaking wire”? The Violent is breaking wire.

Becky is finally discovered and is in bad shape – but it could’ve been much worse. However, Mason’s search for her has led him down some dark paths and into a dire situation. With the police hounding them both and the possibility of losing custody of their daughter, Mason will do whatever it takes to stay out of prison and keep his family together – and it’s going to take a lot.

Ed Brisson and Adam Gorham’s story gets impossibly more exciting by the issue. It started off as a story about two working class new parents just about clinging on for survival with their low-paying jobs and now it’s a different kind of beast entirely. Mason in particular is a man who’s fallen off the cliff and is grasping for handholds as the rocks beneath rise up to meet him – it’s desperately thrilling reading!

Our storytellers raised the stakes in the second issue after Mason accidentally did something he couldn’t take back but in this issue he seems to have made his peace with his deed and even decided to take things further. The story has gone from a depressingly realistic and grim portrait of Western modern life on the bottom rungs of society with ex-cons and ex-junkies trying to go straight as the protagonists – which was really well done and compelling all by itself – but now death and murder has entered the story, it’s turned into a completely unpredictable and genuine edge-of-the-seat thriller. The title is certainly appropriate!

Brisson’s dialogue and characterisations are so on point – you unquestionably believe these are real people – and the plotting is superb and fast-moving. Brisson knows the importance of silence and when to let the visuals tell the story, handing off to Gorham throughout the issue for maximum effect in the scenes – the balance between the two couldn’t be tighter. Gorham’s art remains sharp, eye-catching and suitably noir with some uncanny facial expressions brilliantly conveying exactly what you’re meant to take away from the panels.

If you’re anything like me then Brisson and Gorham hooked you by the second issue and you won’t need any encouragement to pick this up – the third issue doesn’t disappoint. It not only delivers more gritty, quality drama but makes you want even more especially with that finale! If you’ve yet to discover this Breaking Bad of comics, I urge you to get in on the ground floor and check out The Violent today.

The Violent cover

Publisher: Image

Writer: Ed Brisson

Artist: Adam Gorham

Colourist: Michael Garland

Noel Thorne

Probably reading comics as you're reading this.

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