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Sleeper, Vol. 1: Out in the Cold
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Sleeper, Vol. 1: Out in the Cold (Sleeper #1)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  1,352 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Masterfully combining the genres of crime stories and superheroes, SLEEPER provides a dark, humanizing exploration of the criminal world. As an undercover agent in a complex super-villain organization, Holden Carver has become caught in a web of moral uncertainty. After being forced to kill someone to preserve his cover, the self-loathing operative looks to be pulled out o ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Wildstorm (first published December 31st 1999)
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Crime Comics & Graphic Novels
29th out of 95 books — 34 voters
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169th out of 176 books — 50 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,271)
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Patrick
Enjoyed the series. It's dark and gritty. Clever and well-executed.

And while it does have superhero-type characters in it, it's not a superhero comic. It's more of a spy novel set in a world where superpowers exist.
Billcorcoran
This is a review of the entire series not just this book. Not a super hero book but the characters are super human. A government agent goes undercover in a terrorist organization and the only goverment official who knows he is a plant is attacked and put in a coma. Now the protagonist has no way to prove he didn't go rogue and is trapped as a member of this terrorist organization.

One of the things I enjoyed about the TV series 24 is the character was often forced into morally questionable situat
...more
Travis
A spy with a pretty unique super power goes deep under cover in the super villain community, only to have his contact in the spy network get injured and end up in a coma.
Now, he is on his own, as the villains don't entirely trust him, the rest of the spies think he's a traitor and he has to figure out how to walk this tight rope before one side or the other kills him.

Somewhere between the 'Sopranos', the 'Bourne Identity' and 'The Legion of Doom'. It's dark, gritty, there's a double cross every
...more
matt
With "Criminal", Brubaker writes these intimate character studies that are terrific, in "Sleeper" he is looking more at the inner workings of a crime syndicate, and it just doesn't grab me the way the "Criminal" stories do. On the whole, "Sleeper" seems very cartoony -the super powers and the bars that serve heros or villians -- it's all a little goofy. I think his work is much stronger when he stays with the gritty "true-crime" type stories of "Criminal".
The artwork by Sean Phillips is stellar,
...more
Ashish
It's Departed meets The Boys meets Steelheart , and the resultant mash pulls in the best of all three - the supers are interesting, with believable, unique powers in a world that makes sense, while a noir-ish atmosphere darkens the overall feel of the storyline. It's brutal and irreverent, but still has a slightly comic-book tone - maybe it's the art style - that stops it from becoming like the kind of gritty, slightly under-your-skin dirty experience that a Battle Angel Alita or Queen and Co ...more
Todd N
This review covers the entire series (Vol 1-4).

This is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in a long time. It combines three of my favorite types of stories: brooding noir dude, undercover spy, and lots of superheroes.

The protagonist has the quintessential noir superpower — he can absorb any amount of pain and then give it to the next person who touches him. (Wouldn’t that be Philip Marlowe’s?)

He is also so deep undercover that he’s not sure he can even come out of the cold again. This part
...more
Gavin
Deep cover agent Carver is so deep he's not sure what's up or down. Originally a 'good guy' spy, now working for the #1 'bad guy' group, high up in the organization, his body count is insane, and the only person who knows he's actually one of the White Hats is in a coma, not likely to wake.
This could have been a cheesy B-Movie or a horrible book in the wrong hands, but Brubaker and Philips are just solid gold.
Carver is also a post-human, which means he has powers, from experiments done on him by
...more
Cathy
I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was about superheroes, or more specifically about villains, I thought it was just a crime noir kind of thing, so that was a nice surprise. But boy oh boy is this written for men. I usually like gritty, noir, dark stories. I like a genuine male perspective, I don't expect every story to be politically correct by any means. But this was just more than I enjoyed. The main female character is a Jessica Rabbit wanna-be who was literally born to be bad and ...more
Sean
Ed Brubaker has always impressed me and I had heard really good things about the Sleeper series. I finally get a chance to check out the first collection and I have to say it was a little of a let down. It wasn't bad but it also wasn't spectacular either. I love the idea of a double agent but the main character here, Holden Carver, is barely shown that he cares about all the horrible things he's doing so his predicament is less gripping. Also, the book actually is moving too fast. Just when a re ...more
Lloyd
This is an extremely well written and fun to read book. The only reason I give it 2 stars is because I never got into the Wildstorm Universe or Authority, etc. so I don't have any connection to these characters or situations. Nor do I really feel like going back and reading the Authority collections to give these stories more meaning to me.

I've got all four trades of this series, so I'm sure I'll finish it up. I've just already invested enough of my time in the past keeping up with the Marvel an
...more
Gautam Surath
If you are going to write something that is similar to stuff out there then the style needs to be different and enticing. Else the view point needs to be different. In the end sleeper left me out in the cold and I ain't coming back in!
Brittany
Nov 04, 2007 Brittany rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: comics
Sleeper is one of my favorite comic series of all time, period. The characters are engaging, and, being post-comic book code, there's no holds barred on what they're able to do. In short, there are a group of people who have superhuman abilities (the main character cannot feel pain, but can pass it on to others when he is injured, for example) who are all working as assassins for a very evil man. Of course, main character falls in love with a woman known as Miss Misery, who is in fact fueled by ...more
Adam
Aug 08, 2008 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
After reading the first six issues of Sleeper, I honestly can't tell you what it's about. It's allusive, clever, mysterious, tongue-in-cheek, violent, and a lot of fun to read, but the plot points consistently and deliberate obfuscate and build upon one another in ways that make it very difficult to summarize. Basically, it takes place in a world in which heroes and villains with superpowers exist alongside normal folks. The focus in Sleeper is firmly on the villains, both super-powered and othe ...more
Grace
Noir spy thriller with superpowered heroes and villains. The spy stuff in particular was really convincing and well done. Unfortunately there are only two female characters, both of whose plot points revolve around relationships. And there's a lot of gratuitous nudity (I mean really gratuitous - like two dudes are having a conversation about important spy matters and a naked lady just happens to be walking by, filling up the panel). It didn't seem particularly misogynist, just juvenile and cluel ...more
Federiken Masters
Dec 17, 2010 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amantes del suspenso y violencia
Recommended to Federiken by: Point Blank
Sabía que leyendo con un cacho más de atención me iba a convencer más que cuando leí entrecortado el prólogo, Point Blank. Acá encontré más de lo mismo en el buen sentido. Las partes que me parecían demasiado confusas o pretenciosas en PB acá son mucho más claras, entretenidas y personajes y situaciones están llevadas con mejor ritmo que antes. Quizás el dibujo no me haya convencido del todo, pero tampoco es que resta. Pasa de funcional a interesante según qué escena. Espero poder agarrar el #2 ...more
Christopher Dodd
It had been a long time since I had read a more modern (not '60s) comic and this hit the spot.
A superhero/undercover spy graphic novel with great art. This had been on my radar for a long time before I got to read it.

I think it being set in the Wildstorm universe made me nostalgic for the Authority and other comics I haven't read in a while.
Wraps up in a satisfying way while teasing more awesomeness to come.
I need to get my hands on the next one soon.
Variaciones Enrojo
Continuación de Pointblank.
Filip Różanek
Holden is horribly likeable character, man who sacrificed all good in his life for the mission and is now struggling to stay undercover and keep his humanity. Book doesn't pull any punches and grabs you deeply into dark, but fascinating world of supervillains. It takes the best of the worlds of superhero comics, noir stories and spy drama and combines them into beautiful, unique construct.
Tristan Palmer
A double agent espionage story set in a world with capes. It's a brilliant idea and superbly executed by Brubaker's works and Phillips' stellar art. I knew they were a great creative duo, but I had no idea what I was gettin myself into. I can't wait to dig into the next volume.
Alex
Great new comic! A fast read that left me eager for the next one. I picked it up on the theory that the deep-undercover spy story would be good; that the universe includes superheroes and fantasy tech got me really hooked. (I'm a sucker for that.) Gonna go check out the rest from OPL.
Jennifer
I don't usually love crime/espionage/villain stories, but I do love Ed Brubaker. Not everything in this was to my taste, but it was certainly well-crafted and the twisty plot and sharp dialogue made me want to read more.
Amal El-Mohtar
AMAZING. SO AMAZING. Ye gods Ed Brubaker. Way to make me root for the villains and never want to read THE AUTHORITY because they're clearly a bunch of pompous assbags! This was just ... Thoroughly fantastic. YES. MORE.
Phil
Superpower goes undercover into a supervillain organization, then his contact (and the only person who knows he's undercover) is killed.

I have the complete series, just didn't feel like typing them all in.
K T
I like the artwork. It's dark, and has one large panel as the background with other panels inset. The art and story have a film noir style. I found it very engaging.

(Definitely for adults)
Michael
Wow! Even though Brubaker retells the same double agent crime narrative, it's done so well this may be my favorite noir graphic novel series. It's so dark it's nearly painful, in a good way.
Scott Greenfield
I just recently finished reading this book and this is probably the best graphic novel I've read in a long time. If you're in to noir at all, this book is definitely for you. Highly recommended.
Peter
A double-agent in so deep he can't even tell what or who he's working for, set in a superhero universe, but that's tangential to the story. The tone reminded me of Raymond Chandler...
Ms. Thibodeau
This is Ed Brubaker's best work, even better than Criminal. I love the noir touches. He has a new one coming out (Villains? Something like that) that is going to rule.
Billy Kennedy
I wish I could give this ten more stars. These books changed my life. Simply amazing in every way. Everything this author touches turns to gold.
Justin
A brilliant book that flawlessly fuses noir, espionage, and super-powers into a grim, very dark, but undeniably fascinating story.
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Ed Brubaker (born November 17, 1966) is an Eisner Award-winning American cartoonist and writer. He was born at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

Brubaker is best known for his work as a comic book writer on such titles as Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist, Catwoman, Gotham Central, Sleeper, Uncanny X-Men and X-Men: Deadly Genesis, and The Authority, and for helping
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More about Ed Brubaker...

Other Books in the Series

Sleeper (4 books)
  • Sleeper, Vol. 2: All False Moves
  • Sleeper, Vol. 3: A Crooked Line
  • Sleeper, Vol. 4: The Long Way Home
Batman: The Man Who Laughs X-Men: Messiah Complex Criminal, Vol. 1: Coward Captain America: Winter Soldier, Vol. 1 Captain America: The Death of Captain America, Vol. 1: The Death of the Dream

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