Publisher: Image Comics (Skybound)
Story By: Andy Diggle
Art By: Shawn Martinbrough, Adriano Lucas
Release Date: 6th May 2015
With Celia’s first heist under the ‘Redmond’ moniker ending in less than auspicious fashion, this latest chapter of Diggle and Martinbrough’s crime thriller deals primarily with the fallout from her arrest, and sees all our main ‘players’ reacting to her bold – if somewhat foolish – decision.
This is definitely the most dynamic issue of the current arc, and gives artist Shawn Martinbrough a chance to flex his ‘action’ muscles with a brief yet frantic set-piece near the start of the chapter. Granted, Thief of Thieves has never really been a series that relies on fist-fights or shootouts, but it’s still nice to mix things up every now and again and prevent things from becoming too ‘talky’.
That said, ‘talky’ is precisely where this book really shines, and we’re treated to some fantastic police interview room banter here from Diggle, along with a tense criminal ‘round table meeting’ later in the issue. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, one of the strengths of this series is the way Diggle has spent so much such time and effort developing the key characters, making us deeply invested in them as the story unfolds – regardless of which side of the law they happen to be on.
As good as it undoubtedly is, the pacing of this issue highlights one of the few drawbacks I’ve found about Thief of Thieves – in an episodic format, at least. Everything whips along so briskly, and Diggle’s dialogue is so utterly accessible, that each issue almost feels like it’s over before it’s had a chance to begin, leaving the reader anxiously waiting to find out what happens next.
Granted, this is probably more a matter of personal taste, as some people genuinely love being tantalised and treated to cliffhanger after cliffhanger. For me though, a month is too long to wait for the latest instalment, and this is a series I feel will benefit greatly from its eventual trade paperback release. Single episodes versus bingeing – it’s a debate that’s likely to wage on for quite some time between TV watchers and comic readers alike, and to be honest, as long as a title is proving itself worthy of being included in the discussion, I think it’s achieved its goal.
Overall, Thief of Thieves keeps the strong momentum of its latest arc going here, and if the events of this issue are to be believed, things are fixing to ramp up significantly in the issues to come. Diggle and Martinbrough’s crime thriller continues to go from strength to strength then, and by introducing an inventive new dynamic on the ‘Redmond’ persona, they’ve managed to re-energise this already pretty damn energetic series.