Write it in Blood (2021)
A soap opera about hitmen
Brothers Cosmo and Arthur Pryce are on the eve of their retirement as hitmen. Their final job get complicated when news of Arthur’s tryst with the boss’ wife gets out. Cosmo’s retirement plans are put in jeopardy when family loyalty comes into play. Write it in Blood is a character-driven crime drama.
After reviewing Pulp earlier this year, I was anxious to review another Image Comics one-shot. And as with Pulp, the cover of Write it in Blood really caught my eye. Image Comics seems to know what they’re doing with their covers. Or maybe I’m just drawn to dusty Western covers.
What I liked
Like the cover by Declan Shalvey, the internal artwork by Joe Palmer is impressive. The linework was initially a concern for me while reading Write it in Blood. It appeared thicker than it needed to be. But this is mostly due to the very minimalist backgrounds Palmer applies. They enhance the foreground images sharply which makes for a unique and interesting visual style. In fact, my initial concern about Palmer’s art quickly became my favorite aspect of the comic.
I also really enjoyed the concept of hitmen planning their retirement. It makes for an interesting conversation about whether or not people in those positions can ever truly remove themselves from that lifestyle – literally or figuratively.
What I didn’t like
There were far too many character perspectives in Write it in Blood. It pulled focus away from the two main protagonists and often added very little to the story. Instead of giving depth to the plot, the large cast of characters served only to make the story feel like a soap opera.
Additionally, despite a solid build up for the third act, the very ending of the comic feels abrupt. It’s a sharp turn that feels unsatisfying and out of tone with the rest of the comic.
Write it in Blood is a decent one-shot. The story isn’t as compelling as it could be but the art really makes up for it. If you’re looking for a quick standalone read, it might be worth a shot.
Source: Image Comics (2021)