This is the issue in which the microcosm shows there is a macrocosm - in which we find out that what the characters are currently fighting for is piddly compared to what actually might be going on, in which the story we’ve been following takes a hard left and may never come back. We’ve been in the comfort zone so far, and Bunn wants us to know that. Bunn doesn’t hit us over the head with the violent and grotesque. He tells his story, and he weaves in character dynamics and things that really emotionally resonate. This man spins yarns. He digs deep into the characters he writes about and wrings them dry.
Brian Hurtt’s art is wonderful. Bill Crabtree’s monochromatic tones create the film noir feel to perfection. It’s like you’re watching a film starring Humphry Bogart and directed by Howard Hawkes. The Damned is cinematic comic book storytelling at its best, all the way down to the quickly paced repartee.
One thing Bunn is good at is capturing a style. He recreates an authentic voice with every book he does. Here, it sounds like he’s inhabiting Raymond Chandler. It’s beautiful listening to the ebbs and flows, and I laughed out loud more than once at some of the best-written lines I’ve read in comics in a while. He doesn’t resort to crass, simple jokes. It’s freaking clever.
Do yourself a favor and read The Damned.