We open with a man trying to convince a guy named Leonard to kill someone. Leonard instead shoots the man doing the talking. We jump back two days. That man is named Rich, and he is speeding home to find his wife, Denise, in tears because her rapist paid her a visit again. Rich would do anything to rid Denise of this man. Rich is a police officer, and his partner, Myra, tells him that he has an option. He can contract the job of killing the rapist out to a man named Wendell.
Lowlifes delivers on its name immediately. We open with Rich trying to coax a man into murder and being shot for the effort. The story centers around Rich, a dirty cop, being convinced to contract out a murder, wanting to murder a rapist and getting revenge for his wife whom never asked him to do this.
Lowlifes is full of awful people doing awful things, and I kinda dig the hell out of it. The comic is aware that its characters are doing reprehensible things. It still makes the effort of keeping them sympathetic to a point, and that keeps the story palatable. I’ve never been in Rich’s position, but I can understand his actions.
Myra is a likable character too. She’s not a good person either, but she knows what she wants and has a good sense of humor about all of it.
Alexis Sentenac is the artist on Lowlifes, and the book looks great for it. The style is highly detailed but tempered with a grittiness that makes you feel like you’re being dragged down into this world. This world is awful, believable, and enthralling. The colors are dirty, dark, and grimy. The art matches the story near-perfectly.
Lowlifes #1 is a compelling read about morally bankrupt individuals still trying to right by the people they care about. Rich and Myra may be bad people, but their actions aren’t motivated by entirely bad sympathies. Mix that with some great artwork, and you have a book worth recommending. Give it a read.
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