Tony's Reviews > El Diablo

El Diablo by Brian Azzarello
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Jan 24, 11

bookshelves: graphic-storytelling
Read in January, 2011

This blood-soaked book takes the hard-boiled crime genre and moves it to the Old West, with simple yet striking art by Croatian artist Danijel Zezelj. Since I like hard-boiled crime, westerns, and Zezelj's other work, it was a no-brainer to pick this up. The story is a great mishmash of noir, ghost story, and pure pulp. One of the central themes of the noir genre is that one can't escape the past, and that's at the heart of this book. Sheriff Moses Stones used to be a cold-blooded bounty hunter, but has since settled down to keep the piece and raise a family. Unfortunately, the past comes knocking in the form of a wraith-like outlaw named El Diablo who seems intent on meting out justice. The Sheriff rounds up a posse to track him down and kill him, but one by one, members of the posse are killed and it becomes increasingly uncertain whether or not El Diablo is man or something supernatural. Eventually, it all comes back to the Sheriff's home town and the dark secret he's been hiding from. The plot twist at the end is a classic one, straight out of the Twilight Zone and at least a few '40s crime films. The story is a dark and grim one, with lots of violence and a sprinkling of graphic sex. Zezelj's style instills everything with a grimness, and the palette is a murky, dirty one, reflecting the tone of the story and the stained moral character of the protagonist. A good choice for comics-readers looking for something for grownups or just another good Western title.
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