Synopsis: When a chance encounter with a captivating femme fatale leads to a violent mob retaliation, hard-boiled Detective Mike Hammer finds himself dodging both bullets and broads as he undertakes the most dangerous case of his career.
Review: Prior to reading this comic I hadn’t read any of the old pulp Mike Hammer novels by Mickey Spillane. So my only knowledge of the character was thanks to the television series of the early 1980’s, which starred Stacey Keach as the hard-boiled P.I.
This first issue of the comic, which is published through the Titan Comics Hard Case Crime imprint, just illustrates how much more violent and edgy the novels likely were when compared to the television series. There are at least three killings in this issue.
Given the task of adapting Mike Hammer to comics is Max Allan Collins who does a brilliant job of adapting one of the many Mickey Spillane stories. Collins does a fantastic job with the dialogue, which feels very much like what you’d expect to hear in any number of crime thrillers from the 1930’s and 40’s. To say that this is a page-turner would be an understatement. My eyeballs were glued to the page.
The artwork by Marcelo Salaza is absolutely amazing and has a kind of photorealistic slant to it but in a very film noir kind of way. The quality of the art is such that it leaps off the page and pulls you into this seedy world of Mike Hammer. And some of the more active panels have a really solid sense of pace and momentum to them.
If by the end of the comic you haven’t had enough. There is a Mickey Spillane Detective story printed in the back of the comic, which features one of his other detective characters. This is accompanied by some rather nice black and white artwork.
Overall. This is a great first issue and I am very much looking forward to finding out how the story develops in issue two when it is released next month.
Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer is out now in all good comics stores and is well worth a look if your a fan of crime thrillers.