A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance TP Vol. 1: Image Comics Review

Mar 15, 2022

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The trade paperback of A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance Volume 1 hit shelves Wednesday. I’ve been following this engaging story by Rick Remender and André Lima Araújo, with elemental narrative inside artwork by Chris O’Halloran & Rus Wooton for every single issue since it started. I will continue to stay spoiler free in this review. You may thank me later. But I must say this: I am still shocked at how many surprises I got from reading this in trade format. And I am not ashamed to say how glad I am to say there is more to come — I don’t care if my enthusiasm shows. I said in an earlier review this was one of my favorite new reads of 2021. After considering the new reads of 2021 along with the story component from 2022 collected in in this trade, A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance remains a favorite ongoing story.

Image Comics
Written by: Rick Remender & André Lima Araújo
Art by: Chris O’Halloran & Rus Wooton
Cover Art by: André Lima Araújo & Chris O’Halloran

JUST SURPRISE ME

Considering how much attention I paid to each issue of this mysterious crime story as it was released, the first thing that struck me about this collected volume was how many extra treats there were to be discovered — like so many Easter Eggs — simply from being able to read this story all at once. As much as I savored the issues one at a time, I truly enjoyed the rush of not having to wait, turning page after page in flow. There were things jumping out at me as if I had seen the original issues with half my attention instead of reading (and re-reading) with the great anticipation I read each one. If you have not been on board, for goodness sake, do not miss the joy of reading this one without having to wait between issues.

GIMME MORE

If there is one thing that may be more fascinating than the story itself, it is the way Remender and the entire creative time are unspooling this story without ever making it seem like they are just setting up red herrings like bowling pins to keep the reader hanging on. This is no slow burn for the sake of holding back the good stuff. It is all the good-good, and every detail matters. This is not a series of fake outs. It is building a dark and mysterious world into which you want to sink deeper and deeper until all of your questions are answered. And be assured… there is still a lot to be answered.

TRADE ME!

Like a thirsty bar patron pleading with the bartender to “Hit me!” I soaked in this trade paperback version as if it were an alternative version of what I’ve been appreciating all along. Important details about connections between characters are easier to catch when not waiting between issues. Precious dialog, never overused here, shows itself to be repeated at key moments. This is a great story in issues, and it is an excellent first volume trade to devour in a sitting, too.

EXTRAS

If that were not enough, there are wonderful extras to be found here to enjoy, including some insight into the creative process. And for those of us who love variants but cannot always afford to collect them, there is the treat of finally having a collection of the variant covers, many by up-and-coming artists whose impressions of the characters are a true delight to pore over. I love the A covers, and all the alternatives are by people I have been intrigued by recently. My personal favorite right now is Tula Lotay’s colorful palette. But let me be clear about how much restraint it takes to keep from wanting to collect them all in print. They all bring their own lush, textured perspective to an already impressive set of cover art.

SUMMARY:

A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance TP Volume 1 (collecting issues #1-5) is a wondrously rich story both shown and told with few words, and consistently presents many engaging mysteries. This tale of a man drawn into an increasingly complex criminal situation is playing out in ways that manage to present many layers of suspense without ever seeming like a tease. This skillful story telling is a gift to be savored with all your senses.

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