Review – Patience! Conviction! Revenge! Vol 1 TP (AfterShock Comics)

Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: Patrick Kindlon
Artist: Marco Ferrari
Colours: Patrizia Comino
Lettering: Jim Campbell
Release Date: 10th April 2019

Renny isn’t a particularly nice guy.  It’s perhaps not surprising then that his genius-level mechanical skills led him to be working for one of the biggest crime syndicates in Vegas, and even less surprising that he ended up being excommunicated from the group in a fairly violent fashion.  But Renny isn’t one to let things go, and assisted by a home-made army of robots, he sets out on a mission of revenge against those who have wronged him.

As you can imagine, our “hero” is actually anything but, and comes across as a fairly unlikeable human being for the most part.  That said, there’s something rather compelling about his level of conviction, and while he’s essentially a bad guy trying to get revenge on other bad guys for acting like bad guys, it’s difficult not to become drawn into his single-minded quest for payback.

I was already familiar with series writer Patrick Kindlon from his stellar work alongside Matthew Rosenberg on Black Mask’s We Can Never Go Home, and he brings the same knack for sharp dialogue to the table here. Renny’s bitterly cynical worldview provides some chuckle-worthy moments of dry humour, and the supporting cast all get to deliver some great barbs, jibes and put-downs as they find themselves drawn into his “master plan.”

More than Renny himself though , his eclectic army of self-made robots are the real stars of the show, from his unintentionally hilarious sidekick Robot Paul to wonderfully utilised one-note jokes like ‘Warning Robot’ and ‘Adorabot’.  Paul pretty much steals every scene he’s a part of with his slightly weary, loyal-but-sceptical demeanour, and artist Marco Ferrari does a fantastic job of packing a tremendous amount of expression into what is essentially a character with no face.

Speaking of the visuals, Ferrari’s artwork has a pleasingly loose feel to it, with some creative layouts, character designs – the aforementioned robots in particular – and a wonderfully chaotic cyberpunk aesthetic throughout.  The action scenes flow smoothly and the background details really help to flesh the world out, with Patrizia Comino’s lively colours packing the story with energy without ever overshadowing the linework.

My only minor niggle with the series would be its finale, which doesn’t quite deliver on what appeared to be an exhaustive, complex and intricately laid out plan from Renny.  It felt like the team were going for an Ocean’s-esque flourish when all the different parts of the job came together, but it didn’t really pop in the way the preceding four issues had made me hoping it would.

That said, and without delving into spoilers, it’s still certainly a satisfying enough conclusion, and the allusion to a second volume fills me with excitement. Readers looking for some kind of redemption arc or grand epiphany are definitely barking up the wrong tree here, but if you’re in the mood for a sharp, witty and violent tale of single-minded vengeance, this is most certainly the book for you.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter

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