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Review Brew: ‘Thief of Thieves #40’

What happens when two Russian billionaires who destroyed a master thief’s life have their hands on a potential doomsday weapon? You don’t want to know!

Thief of Thieves #40
Written by: Brett Lewis
Art by: Shawn Martinbrough
Published by: Image Comics/Skybound
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 09/05/2018

What happens when two Russian billionaires who destroyed a master thief’s life get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction? Well, this book tells that story. When the unthinkable happens, it falls to Conrad to infiltrate a yacht, and steal a GPS device in the hopes of being led to the Goldrush doomsday weapon. With the notion of revenge nipping at his brain, Conrad becomes conflicted as to his reasoning for taking this job, and has to enlist the help of his crew to keep him going.

This was one of my first introductions to the world of Thief of Thieves, and I have to say that I was impressed. Brett Lewis’s story allows a brand new reader to drop in and follow along easily with all of the goings on. The characters are so cleverly written that you can’t help but root (or boo) for them when they show up. The villains bring a classic single-minded flair to the story, with their pursuit of money and power, and their ruthlessness really shows. Lewis easily conveys the villains’ feeling of being untouchable, and shows how Conrad knows that this will be their downfall. It’s a lot like reading an old noir-style story, and Brett Lewis is almost flawless here.

Taking a look at the art by Shawn Martinbrough, one can see that it’s just strikingly beautiful. Every panel brings a simple elegance to the characters, and gives life to their faces. Seriously, you can tell that Conrad has seen some stuff in his life as a thief, while his support team looks fresh-faced and full of hope – which really works for the story being told here. Some of my favorite panels in this book showcase Conrad prepping for the mission at hand in a simulation, because they really breathe a sense of fun into this issue. I am really looking forward to seeing more of Martinbrough’s work in this series.

Simple light and shadow bring real depth to the art

While I had a good time reading this one, there were still a few things with which I took issue. While the story was easy to get into, I kind of felt like there was a bit too much exposition. It runs the risk of causing some confusion in the reader(s), especially if they’re just coming in to Conrad’s story. The other problem I had was with the villains. Sure, they’re ruthless and power-hungry, but they also felt a bit hackneyed in their design. They smacked a bit of the villains from the older James Bond stories. You know, the ones who would go for some grandiose plan, then break down their entire scheme to the hero while needlessly setting up an over-complicated death for him. I get that this is supposed to be kind of a hard-boiled noir story, but this makes it a little too much.

Despite the book’s flaws, however, I still really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out with the story, and how everything gets concluded.

3 Thieves out of 5

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