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View Full Version : [spoilers] I just finished 100 Bullets for the first time



mitchymitchymitchy
03-09-2010, 08:13 AM
I finished reading 100 Bullets yesterday - I spent most of the weekend reading books 8-12 and read book 13 yesterday.
I then went to wikipedia to try and make heads or tails out of everything.
This helped me a lot:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_in_100_Bullets

It broke down all the characters and and how they all were introduced and died-- so that helped. With a cast this large I often got confused

I have a TON of questions. I mean-- the last issue was almost like the end of reservoir dogs where you decide who lives and who dies, and it looks like pretty much everyone dies except for Lono, Slaughter, Victor (he's the one with the cross tattoo on his hand, right?) and Loop.

I had a bunch of problems with Victor-- he kind of switched sides back and forth between Graves side and Lono's side. He seemed to be able to be a part of both and that confused me..

Also-- near the end slaughter was behind Lono with a gun while lono was on the phone with Loop… why didn't slaughter kill him?

Another question: what was up with the painting? Nothing ever really came of it.. Cole had it with him, and then nothing. That kind of bothered me unless I missed something.

All in all though, I really liked it-- again, I look forward to reading the entire thing from beginning to end because I think a lot will be able to be taken from it the second time. How many times I was just reading thinking to myself "who is this guy…" will be avoided the second time throught… also, I will be looking for motivation of all characters once I know what they're all doing.

Last thought-- what I loved about the series is a few things:
1) this is a story that can never be told in another medium other than comics.. The amount of times they used the effect of having a character speaking over a picture that was taking place in a different storyline, but had meaning for both storylines was absolutely brilliant. Sometimes (like the last issue) one person's words would have implications across 3 or 4 storylines and the action shown would enlighten the words or vice versa. Just brilliant.
2) I am shocked and impressed that all 100 issues had the exact same creative team. The same writer, artist, cover artist, colorer and letterer. That is unprecedented (I think Y the last man had 2 artists), and Fables has many. I didn't LOVE Risso's art, but it told the story well, and I understand the lateness of the book at times. It seems impossible.

Anything you all'd like to add? Or maybe point out that I may have missed?

ERNIE_E
03-09-2010, 10:00 AM
You could analyze this series until the cows come home, clearly my favorite series of all time, and a great graphic novel achievement. I agree with a lot of what you say, except for the fact that you didn't LOVE Risso's art. Art's subjective, but Risso was a HUGE part of the series and no other artist could have brought to the table what he did. He's a co-creator and anytime you saw a story behind the story, it was him fitting that in. There's few artists who could come close to what he did in these 100 issues.

The Painting is a metaphor for art. In the end, it was meaningless, much like most high priced art. Worthless or valuable to only those who put value in it. Don't think too hard on that one.

As for your other questions, answers are there and you may see it more clearly on the second time around knowing how everything fits. Everything is there, trust me. But you gotta love a series you WANT to read multiple times because it's that enjoyable. Too often I buy comics that I read once and never want to read again, or worse yet, share with anyone. 100 Bullets, is always in an arms reach and has been loaned/bought to friends/family numerous times.

Taxman
03-09-2010, 10:06 AM
Dman, I was hopping it would make sense once I decided to finish it. :lol:

mitchymitchymitchy
03-09-2010, 10:12 AM
You could analyze this series until the cows come home, clearly my favorite series of all time, and a great graphic novel achievement. I agree with a lot of what you say, except for the fact that you didn't LOVE Risso's art. Art's subjective, but Risso was a HUGE part of the series and no other artist could have brought to the table what he did. He's a co-creator and anytime you saw a story behind the story, it was him fitting that in. There's few artists who could come close to what he did in these 100 issues.

The Painting is a metaphor for art. In the end, it was meaningless, much like most high priced art. Worthless or valuable to only those who put value in it. Don't think too hard on that one.

As for your other questions, answers are there and you may see it more clearly on the second time around knowing how everything fits. Everything is there, trust me. But you gotta love a series you WANT to read multiple times because it's that enjoyable. Too often I buy comics that I read once and never want to read again, or worse yet, share with anyone. 100 Bullets, is always in an arms reach and has been loaned/bought to friends/family numerous times.

Thanks Ernie- I agree with you and feel Risso's art told the story very well, it's just not my preferred style. That said- I agree with you that I don't think any other artist could have told that story without drastically changing the story and tone.
I will read this again, but probably not for a year or so. So much else out there and this needs to marinate a bit.

Deej
03-09-2010, 10:22 AM
You could analyze this series until the cows come home, clearly my favorite series of all time, and a great graphic novel achievement. I agree with a lot of what you say, except for the fact that you didn't LOVE Risso's art. Art's subjective, but Risso was a HUGE part of the series and no other artist could have brought to the table what he did. He's a co-creator and anytime you saw a story behind the story, it was him fitting that in. There's few artists who could come close to what he did in these 100 issues.

The Painting is a metaphor for art. In the end, it was meaningless, much like most high priced art. Worthless or valuable to only those who put value in it. Don't think too hard on that one.

As for your other questions, answers are there and you may see it more clearly on the second time around knowing how everything fits. Everything is there, trust me. But you gotta love a series you WANT to read multiple times because it's that enjoyable. Too often I buy comics that I read once and never want to read again, or worse yet, share with anyone. 100 Bullets, is always in an arms reach and has been loaned/bought to friends/family numerous times.

Agreed. Risso was a huge part of why this series is one of my favorites.

I've read this series twice and found that I've noticed things in the art, the word play that I didn't catch the first time. It's really worth giving this a re-read.

joshdahl
03-09-2010, 10:47 AM
But how did Dizzy learn to fight like that?

There was never anything that even hinted at it.

Josh

ERNIE_E
03-09-2010, 06:39 PM
But how did Dizzy learn to fight like that?

There was never anything that even hinted at it.

Josh

At which point?

Shep took her under his wing and trained her as his prodigy. We can assume that she learned a lot from him and admired him. Plus she's a kid from the streets. She was obviously trained, so much so, that she was given the Croatoa flip-switch. It just happened to backfire on you-know-who.

JHickman
03-09-2010, 06:51 PM
Great! I wish I could read it again for the first time.

In my opinion, the best Vertigo book ever.

THWIP!
03-09-2010, 06:57 PM
I always felt that the painting was a McGuffin. Only Croatoa was important. I fucking love this series. Fucking brilliant. And there is no one else that could have done this book besides Risso.

Another reason I think that this wouldn't translate well on another medium is Azzarello's double talk. This maybe a crime comic but I think that it's a comic about language more than anything. Especially the way that Azz writes all those different characters with amazingly distinct voices.

Blue Flash
03-09-2010, 06:59 PM
Totally deserving of the Oversized HC treatment that Y: The Last Man and Starman are currently enjoying.

I'd double dip on a five volume Omnibus run instantly.

ERNIE_E
03-09-2010, 07:01 PM
Dman, I was hopping it would make sense once I decided to finish it. :lol:

It is, you just don't realize how important several things are the first time you read it not knowing it will be a big piece of the picture later on until you get there. Kind of tough to do with a series that spans a decade of time. So a second reading with less time in between is a great experience.

I've read it all the way through just once, but I have read

First Shot Last Call 2-3 times -- It's so very easy to fall for Dizzy, even in her first story.
Split Second Chance three times -- Branch baby
Hang Up on the Hang Low 6 times -- Loop's my favorite Minutemen
Foregone Tomorrow Twice -- Some key stories here
Counterfifth Detective twice -- Milo.... oh Milo...
The Hard Way 5 times -- I FUCKING LOVE GABE
Decayed 4 times -- Takes place in Cleveland and the Rome bros!!!

Issue #85 my all-time favorite issue -- shows how vulnerable and fragile each of the characters can be... even Lono.

THWIP!
03-09-2010, 07:03 PM
The Counterfifth Detective is one of my favorite GNs of all time. I've read that book 7 fucking times.

THWIP!
03-09-2010, 07:06 PM
Hell, Foregone Tomorrow has some of the best single issue stories in comics.

Garth
03-09-2010, 07:37 PM
Hell, Foregone Tomorrow has some of the best single issue stories in comics.

I take it you are referring specifically to Idol Chatter? That story is beyond amazing.

THWIP!
03-09-2010, 07:49 PM
I take it you are referring specifically to Idol Chatter? That story is beyond amazing.

Yes. Didn't that trade also have the story about the woman who's daughter goes missing? I liked that one a lot too.

Garth
03-09-2010, 07:54 PM
Yes. Didn't that trade also have the story about the woman who's daughter goes missing? I liked that one a lot too.

The one with the diner waitress? No, that one was in Split Second Chance, the name of the story is "Heartbreak Sunny Side Up". But I totally agree. That one ripped my heart out. I found that my favorite stories in 100 Bullets had nothing to do with the larger conspiracy stuff.

THWIP!
03-09-2010, 08:16 PM
The one with the diner waitress? No, that one was in Split Second Chance, the name of the story is "Heartbreak Sunny Side Up". But I totally agree. That one ripped my heart out. I found that my favorite stories in 100 Bullets had nothing to do with the larger conspiracy stuff.

That's a great story.

Garth
03-09-2010, 10:46 PM
That's a great story.

The sequence where Graves tells the waitress the details of her missing daughter. Christ. It was so horrible and brutal, and spectacular. The waitress having a complete breakdown in her shift after the sweet morning with her husband--her mascara running down her face. So sad.

The Governor
03-10-2010, 12:25 AM
This is a book I keep thinking about going back to, I read up to about eighth trade, waiting to be blown away, but found it generally impenetrable.

Interesting what was said about the characters all having distinct voices, because I found the opposite... and I have a generally negative response to any book (or TV show for that matter) that needs a Wiki to know what's going on, to me that's a failure in storytelling.

I'm not ragging on the 100 Bullets, it's clearly a great achievement, and I am completely ready to accept I'm an inadequate reader rather that it being Azzarello's fault :D

When i see people loving like in this thread it makes me want to have another go, but then I remember how little I enjoyed it :cry:

joshdahl
03-10-2010, 01:43 AM
At which point?

Shep took her under his wing and trained her as his prodigy. We can assume that she learned a lot from him and admired him. Plus she's a kid from the streets. She was obviously trained, so much so, that she was given the Croatoa flip-switch. It just happened to backfire on you-know-who.


When she first goes to France to learn all the "backstory" that French guy gets her into a fight to see what she can do and he is amazed at the specific martial arts moves that already knows... and she does not know how she knew them.

That is the second time we see Dizzy. The first time we know that she will be part of a bigger story.

She was certainly already a bad-ass, but where did she learn specific moves?

ERNIE_E
03-10-2010, 04:35 AM
When she first goes to France to learn all the "backstory" that French guy gets her into a fight to see what she can do and he is amazed at the specific martial arts moves that already knows... and she does not know how she knew them.

That is the second time we see Dizzy. The first time we know that she will be part of a bigger story.

She was certainly already a bad-ass, but where did she learn specific moves?

I think it's just from growing up on the streets. You can get in a lot of scraps and fights and I think it showed what a natural fighter she was. It's in her nature and made her a good candidate, hell THE candidate everyone wanted, that's why Shep took him under his wing and was able to teach her the ropes so fast. On the flip side, Loop didn't learn so fast, had to go to jail, and learn through Lono, and was still learning at the end.

bartleby
03-15-2010, 09:38 AM
I had been reading it monthly since the beginning, but got behind somewhere around issue #70. Eventually, I just decided rather than trying to catch up, I'd just start over from the beginning. Finally finished reading it yesterday.



Another question: what was up with the painting? Nothing ever really came of it.. Cole had it with him, and then nothing. That kind of bothered me unless I missed something.

It was last hanging in the hotel room where Echo Memoria was shot. They wrapped her body in it and chunked it in the river.

mitchymitchymitchy
03-15-2010, 10:32 AM
I had been reading it monthly since the beginning, but got behind somewhere around issue #70. Eventually, I just decided rather than trying to catch up, I'd just start over from the beginning. Finally finished reading it yesterday.




It was last hanging in the hotel room where Echo Memoria was shot. They wrapped her body in it and chunked it in the river.

So the painting was another Maguffin? Just a piece of Art that was there to keep the story going in order to get all these people together?

I know the Painting has a little to do with the 13 families, and the word Croatoa is there, but it seems the painting like the briefcases are just there to further the story along.

I have mixed feelings about this.

skinnyrunaway
05-01-2010, 02:03 PM
She was certainly already a bad-ass, but where did she learn specific moves?

Off panel.

skinnyrunaway
05-01-2010, 02:06 PM
The painting is the first big hint to the Trust's history. By the end of the story, its a link to something that no longer exists.

I got a Dizzy sketch by Jill Thompson that I cherish.

BriRedfern
05-01-2010, 02:22 PM
I think it's just from growing up on the streets. You can get in a lot of scraps and fights and I think it showed what a natural fighter she was. It's in her nature and made her a good candidate, hell THE candidate everyone wanted, that's why Shep took him under his wing and was able to teach her the ropes so fast. On the flip side, Loop didn't learn so fast, had to go to jail, and learn through Lono, and was still learning at the end.

Nah, this was clearly a dropped story point or something that readers were supposed to connect themselves with her minuteman programming. The name of the arc was parla vous kung fu and it was very clear that dizzy had "mastery" over a number of forms of specialed martial arts and no idea where the knowledge came from. She did NOT learn it on the streets.

I don't get fan boy crazy about stuff like that, but definitely a plot line that was left more or less unanswered.

Also, I don't know about the painting representing art. It may very well, but I don't think that was its primary role in the story.

bartleby
05-01-2010, 02:26 PM
I always assumed that Dizzy received her training while in prison, similar to how Loop ended up in prison with Lono.

skinnyrunaway
05-01-2010, 02:27 PM
dizzy received programming that we just never saw, probably when the croatoa fail safe was planted. we didnt really get any information about how graves and shepherd were able to mindwipe people.

skinnyrunaway
05-01-2010, 02:30 PM
I always assumed that Dizzy received her training while in prison, similar to how Loop ended up in prison with Lono.

Brilliant. So she was being groomed before even receiving the attache.

BriRedfern
05-01-2010, 02:34 PM
I always assumed that Dizzy received her training while in prison, similar to how Loop ended up in prison with Lono.


Brilliant. So she was being groomed before even receiving the attache.

I made the prison connection too. And there is no doubt that Dizzy received training before Graves gave her the attache.

Garth
05-01-2010, 04:59 PM
Brilliant. So she was being groomed before even receiving the attache.


I made the prison connection too. And there is no doubt that Dizzy received training before Graves gave her the attache.

Wow. I never thought of that. Awesome. And what better way to groom and train someone than in prison where it is a closed environment, experiences can be controlled and the subject has all the time in the world.

skinnyrunaway
05-01-2010, 07:59 PM
It never clicked in my head that the reason Mr. Hughes couldn't be a Minuteman was because he was black. Duh.

Garth
05-01-2010, 08:10 PM
It never clicked in my head that the reason Mr. Hughes couldn't be a Minuteman was because he was black. Duh.

I am a tad rusty. Why is this? Just because of the politics of the time when Hughes was involved?

ERNIE_E
05-02-2010, 12:19 AM
I made the prison connection too. And there is no doubt that Dizzy received training before Graves gave her the attache.

Personally I don't believe she received training because she was a recruit. There were two recruits to replace the holes. Loop and Dizzy. That's just how I see it even though some of you, many of you think otherwise.

ERNIE_E
05-02-2010, 12:32 AM
Also, I don't know about the painting representing art. It may very well, but I don't think that was its primary role in the story.

At Wondercon 2009 at Azz's 100 Bullets panel, he was needled by a few people to explain the meaning of the painting and after trying to see if the crowd got it through some tongue in cheek, he stated that the whole point is that the painting in the end was useless, and referred to what art is like in real life, worthless. It's all perspective (art). I'm paraphrasing what he said, but he didn't seem to think there was a bigger story that what many of you want it to be. The kid asking it even stayed at the mic hoping he'd elaborate more, but he didn't. And he answered most other questions pretty thoroughly. I mean it wasn't a DC Nation panel where it's all about being vague. Azz ended any other speculation after that.

So I thought of it later and just smiled. I mean, what makes any art valuable? That you or I put value to it, like any collectible. That people kill each other for it makes it more valuable? or does it make it more trouble than what it's worth? If you take one piece or art, some would see it as priceless, others would simply pay $50, others nothing. You can chase it and you can elevate art in conversation and discussion, but in the end it's all subjective.

I've got a family member who said he doesn't think Monet is good art, hell he thinks it's bullshit as far as art goes, but he loves Renaissance art and holds that as the bar, but any impressionistic painting he thinks as complete nonsense that people think it's good. I'm stunned by his opinion still, but that's just how art is.

skinnyrunaway
05-02-2010, 06:27 PM
I am a tad rusty. Why is this? Just because of the politics of the time when Hughes was involved?

I don't think its a stretch to assume all the Minutemen have been white men. I thought at first he couldn't be a Minuteman because he had a kid, but Slaughter shows that doesn't matter. No blacks or ladies allowed in the Minutemen. And of course Graves's first recruits without the Trust are a black man and a woman.

Gr3nd31
05-02-2010, 06:53 PM
I've been meaning to pick this up. Time for some Amazon.