Thief of Thieves is a new ongoing comic book title from Image Comics that is being written by fan favorite Robert Kirkman. He has brought you smash hits like Invincible, The Walking Dead — now adapted to a tv show of the same name showing on AMC –, and Super Dinosaur. He is joined by fellow writer Nick Spencer who will be responsible for both the stories and the scripts. The art is done by another fan favorie, Shawn Martinbrough. He is well known for his art style of Noir and very shady artwork. His previous works include Luke Cage Noir and Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive from Marvel. He has also done some interior artwork in The Losers from DC’s Vertigo Imprint, which has now been made into a movie.
Here is the solicitation for Thief of Thieves:
“Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can’t steal, nothing he can’t have… except for the life he left behind. Now, with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what’s left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him… but it appears they are the least of his worries.”
As the solicits say, the story starts with a man, only reffered to as Redmond, being chased by armed security guards in what seems to be a cargo hull. This man is being helped through his phone by a woman named Celia. She cuts the lights out. Next the man falls and is surrenders to the guards. The story changes and the panel shifts to a different scene, A woman is woken up by the Captain of a cruise ship. He explains to her that there has been a breach in the safe and that only her safe was broken into. The panels again shift to a different scene in which the woman and her cohort are torturing the Redmond, asking for the return of her stolen pearls. The Captain interrupts, saying he does not tolerate this kind of interrogation since they are in an American ship. The woman agrees and decides to take Redmond with her back home. Redmond is taken to a helicopter. Here it is revealed that the woman was actually Celia. She was at the ship to retrieve something from that specific safe. After the confusion implied to the readers, we are taken back to the point where Redmond and Celia first met. It seems Celia was a car thief, trying to unlock the door when Redmond walks by stating that she is doing it all wrong. It was his car. He helps her with her troubles and unlocks a different car, showing her all the necessary tricks and giving her some tips she can use. She explains to him her situation and her motive. On the way to her place, Redmond suggested that she does not turn in the car to her supposed boss. Knowing that once the guy sees her with the keys on, he will take it and leave her behind. Redmond gives three thousand dolars in exchange for the car. It seems that shifting scenes and “jump-tos” are a norm in this book, because again the story changes and shows us back where the have left us from before. Redmond and Celia are seen at a corporate building and are talking about the “Venice Job.” Very few details are given to us readers. They stand in front of a door, Redmond looks nervous. They are then surprised by Arno, Redmond’s “business partner” for the venice job, and most of his associates. They ask if the venice job is a go. Redmond ignores them. Arno then proposes a toast to Redmond, he believed that when they met, Redmond is just a lowlife, but after everything they’ve been to, all the heists that has been made, all the resources and time that were sacrificed, he trully is the greatest thief of his generation. Redmond thinks for a long time. He empties his glass, and shouts “I quit!”
At first when I was reading the first few pages, I was confused by the shifting storyline. But like any other reader, I quikly caught up on the sense and purpose of the changing scenes. It is of course a Thief story. Besides that, overall the the first issue is will, in no surpise, be a big seller for most retailers. Just knowing that the creative team is comprised of both Robert Kirkman and Shawn Martinbrough makes you grab your wallet to check if you have $2.99 for this title. The notion of a thief as the main character is already a “head-scratcher.” The art is amazing, Martinbrough’s noir-like pencils give that edgy and dark tone to the book. The big shock was at the very end of the issue, when he screams that he quits after a long time of robbing people for their valuables. I cannot wait for the next issue to come out on March 2012.