Rebirth of the Gangster is a noir comic book series about the children of a group of criminals, specifically, how they relate to their parents’ history and how they interact with that legacy themselves.
The cast of Rebirth of the Gangster expands in issue #2 as we meet Hunter Anderson, a crook following in his imprisoned father’s footsteps by holding up convenience stores and breaking into houses. Hunter’s father has a connection with Curtis Thompson, the father of issue #1’s protagonist, Marcus Thompson. The exact nature of the connection remains unexplained, but light is finally shed into the shadowy dealings of the parents’ youth.
Hunter is a less likable protagonist than Marcus, and it has nothing to do with his choice of career. Hunter is quiet and gives little indication of what he is feeling or thinking much of the time. Then, beneath that quiet, doesn’t-give-a-s**t attitude is a violent temper that can flare up at a moment’s notice, as Marcus found out the hard way last issue. It’s not made clear why Hunter has decided to follow his father’s example or what his aspirations are, if any, at least before the end of this issue.
In contrast, mild-mannered Marcus shows he has a darker side this time around. His frustration and anger following the robbery resonate throughout these pages as he works past his experiences which leads to Rebirth of the Gangster #2’s one real down note: It’s still setting the stage for things to come. There is a meatier story buried deeper down, but it won’t mean a thing without knowing the ins and outs of the Thompson and Anderson families, which is what these early issues are for.
Rebirth’s artist, Juan Romera, draws a gorgeous black-and-white book. The lack of color is a perfect fit for the gritty, noirish tone of the series, and Romera’s style gives me a decidedly Walking Dead vibe, minus the zombies.
4 Boosted Toasters out of 5