Monday, 7 December 2009

‘Sinister Dexter: Money Shots’ – Dan Abnett, Simon Davis, Andy Clarke, Steve Roberts (Rebellion Books)


Just recently, it’s felt that whatever I pick up seems to have Dan Abnett’s name on it in one shape or another. That’s cool as far as I’m concerned because, as I’ve said elsewhere, I’ve yet to read a bad book by him. Despite this strange pattern of mine, I was still surprised to pick up ‘Money Shots’ and find that Abnett was the creator of ‘Sinister Dexter’, I didn’t know that he wrote comics as well! ‘Sinister Dexter’ is a series that has always managed to escape my notice when I’ve picked up 2000AD (there’s only so much time to read the comic before the newsagent notices that I’m not buying it!) so I was interested to see what it was all about. Having finished the book, I’m adding ‘Sinister Dexter’ to that list of works entitled ‘Why didn’t I read this sooner...?’

Finnigan R. Sinister and Ramone A. W. Dexter are the premier contract killers in the urban sprawl of Downlode; if something needs a bullet putting in it then these guys are the people you should be calling! ‘Money Shots’ collects some of the tales of Sinister & Dexter; where they came from, where they’re heading to and how many corpses they’ve left behind them on the way...

I had a great time reading ‘Money Shots’, one of those books where you feel like you’ve only been reading it for a few minutes until you realise that a couple of hours have passed and your stomach is wondering why you’re not feeding it.
The emphasis is very much on the ‘Killer’ in ‘Contract Killer’ and that’s how it should be. That’s the job and that’s the way that the job goes! Abnett chooses to inject his own brand of humour into the proceedings however and this was the bit that really hooked me. What does a hitman do to chill out when he’s not on a job? Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a hitman having a bad day on the job? Read ‘Money Shots’ and you’ll have answers to both of these questions (check out ‘Scene of the Crime’ and ‘Quality Time’); if you’re anything like me then the thought of these stories will still have you chuckling when you remember them...

There weren’t really any low points for me in this book; at least not as far as the plots go (I’ll mention the artwork in a bit). The highlights were ‘Gun Play’ (internet gaming taken to the next level), ‘Shrink Wrap’ (like ‘Analyse This’ but with more guns, also sheds light on how Sinister and Dexter teamed up) and ‘Bullet Time’ (easily the best story in the collection, looking at the true unsung heroes in a contract killer’s work). Like I said though, there isn’t really a bad story in the book. If you like hit men, explosions and fast dialogue then this is a comic book you really should be picking up.

The artwork isn’t bad, on the whole, but I found myself veering away from the art of Simon Davis (apparently the definitive artist for this series) and towards that of Andy Clarke instead. Davis’ work is cool but a little too messy for my tastes; Clarke is a lot tidier and more expressive. Again though, it’s all good!

Rebellion Books keep throwing out little surprises like ‘Money Shots’, books that I’ve never thought to pick up but am glad I did. If they can keep doing this then I’ll be sticking around for the ride...

Nine and a Half out of Ten

2 comments:

Hagelrat said...

He does seem to be everywhere at the moment but he's a damn good writer. He's written loads of comics including X-men. I interviewed him in october and he was great. http://hagelrat.blogspot.com/2009/10/dan-abnett-interview.html

Graeme Flory said...

Dan Abnett has written for X-Men as well? Which storyline? I'll have to give that a look...