Readers of The Lost Art

100 Bullets vol. 1: First Shot, Last Call

January 5th, 2010

100 Bullets vol.1: First Shot, Last Call

“They did it.

You know it.

They deserve it.

You’ll get away with it.

Question is, do you pull the trigger?” 


So ran the advertising poster for 100 Bullets when the series first emerged back in the late nineties (and my God, writing that sentence makes me feel old), neatly summarising the series. A mysterious man – Agent Graves – appears and hands you a briefcase containing incontrovertible proof that a particular person – maybe you know them, maybe you don’t –  is responsible for wrecking your life, along with a handgun and 100 untraceable bullets. You can get your revenge in the certain knowledge that the police can’t touch you for it.  What do you do? 

This first volume tells the tale of two people visited by the mysterious Agent Graves, one an ex-con just out of prison, the other a ruined restauranteur scratching a living working in a down-at-heel bar. All the classic noir elements are here: ex-cons, corrupt cops, junkies and dealers, world-weary detectives, sleazy bars and strip joints, and maybe, just maybe, a shot at redemption. Yet “100 Bullets” is far more than the sum of its parts. Right from the start, the creators have never shirked answering the question, “how the hell do you shoot someone without being arrested?”, and the series slowly reveals the massive conspiracy lurking behind Agent Graves’ lined face and pinstripe suit. All the characters are memorable too; Graves, Isabelle “Dizzy” Cordova, Mr Shepherd, the cold-hearted Megan Dietrich, and one of the most frightening comic book monsters of all time, the psychotic hitman Lono. 

Azzarello and Risso’s partnership is truly one of the all-time great writer-artist partnerships; it’s impossible to think of “100 Bullets” without either. This first volume has it all; great attention to detail, great colouring, and there’s always something in the background that rewards a closer look. Very, very, highly recommended. 

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics  
  • ISBN-10: 1563896451