Hard Boiled Crime Fiction in “Hit: 1957 #1” – REVIEW
Written by: Bryce Carlson
Art by: Vanesa R. Del Rey & Nikos Guardia
Boom Studios had the good sense to roll out another miniseries after the success of Hit, a superb crime noir story following the exploits of L.A.’s Hit Squad in 1955, where cops went above and beyond the law to take down mobsters. Hit: 1957 #1, by the same talented team of Bryce Carlson and Vanesa del Rey, picks up years later when crime is down but bubbling just beneath the surface.
This time around some of the same players return but however they may try to move forward the underworld never forgets. That’s the problem plaguing Marie Collins or rather the femme fatale of the first series, Bonnie Brae. She’s in the cross-hairs of a mobster and that drags Detective Slater back in the picture after letting her go. She staked a new life and new identity in San Clemente, away from the danger and filth of Hollywood. Unfortunately, it’s not the only issue Slater has to deal with.
There’s a serial killer on the loose that has everyone on edge. New readers should be able to pick up on the story right away. A lot of the story is new information especially Slater’s back story which is compelling in its own right. If you’re a fan of film noir and hard boiled crime fiction then you’ll love this series. Hit: 1957, even as dense as it is plot wise, is accessible and flows smoothly with dark, dreamlike artwork that draws you in with every panel.
Del Rey’s illustrations have gotten even better than the last miniseries. She’s a master of shadow and light as is required by dark pulp noir stories where characters are themselves living in darkness. Her work is simply gorgeous and dreamy. Carlson and Del Rey have found a symbiotic working relationship that compliments each other between the written word and stunning gritty art.
As good as Hit was, Hit: 1957 might be better. Issue one is off to a great start and not only pays homage to the likes of Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain but it carves its own legacy in hard boiled fiction history.