Saturday, August 10, 2019

Tyler Cross Volume 2: Angola

I reviewed the first collection about Tyler Cross here, but do not worry if you missed it because Angola stands on its own. Here the veteran criminal/smuggler gets set up during a supposedly simple job and sent to the worst prison in America. Surrounded by swamps, kept by sadistic, corrupt guards, and pursued by the several members of a crime family, Cross is beset by hardships. His daily struggle to survive is further complicated by the price on his head and the lascivious warden's wife. So, of course, he starts to plot an escape plan.

Tyler Cross is a character in the vein of Richard Starks' Parker, a tough, violent, and crafty criminal who is not going to undergo any transformation over the course of the story. He's in a spot; he's going to get out of it, and it's not going to be pretty. Still, I feel the plotting and artwork are both well executed, and I very much enjoyed the book. If you are seeking a suspenseful, action-noir story, this one has a lot recommending it.

This book is another collaboration between writer Fabien Nury and artist Brüno. Nury has written a number of historical comic books and graphic novels, including The Death of Stalin. Brüno has drawn several comics series, including Commando Colonial, many which seem to be historical pieces as well. The duo have also collaborated on a prior comic, Atar Gull, a tale about slavery.

The reviews I have read about this book have been positive. Publishers Weekly concluded, "As intricately woven as the first installment, this brutal, cool series remains recommended reading for crime thriller enthusiasts." Benjamin Welton called it "a classic crime caper told in the hardboiled style." Andy Shaw wrote, "The story isn’t as dynamic as the first, trapped as it is in a prison, but it’s just as intense and dark."

Tyler Cross: Angola was published by Titan Books/Hard Case Crime, and they offer more about it here. There is a sizable preview available here.

A third Tyler Cross series just wrapped up here.

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