By BRIAN MARTIN
Throughout the world’s history, there have been famous individuals who have committed acts of murder and were never apprehended by authorities. “Torso,” a graphic novel co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreko, is about one of these infamous criminals.
The story is about the hunt for Cleveland’s “Torso Murderer” during the 1930s. The novel focuses on the individuals searching for this killer and recounts the struggles they endured. The main protagonists of the book are Eliot Ness and his group titled “The Untouchables.”
The story begins with Ness becoming Cleveland’s new safety director. He is intent on cleaning the police department of all corrupt cops. The story then cuts to a crime scene where dismembered bodies are discovered and Detectives Walter Myrlo and Sam Simon are on the case.
With the public becoming more fearful of this killer, Ness decides to take lead of the investigation. As the story progresses, a series of events unfold forcing Ness and his team to make decisions that risk both their lives and careers.
The visual style of the novel utilizes both Bendis’ art style, photos of Cleveland and case evidence in order to add a sense of historical accuracy. Bendis and Andreyko did everything theycould in order to accurately represent the events in the novel by using research they collected on the murders. The book is in black and white in order to convey the dark tone of the story.
While I was reading this book, I was impressed by the way the visuals were laid out, sometimes with unique patterns that Bendis has utilized in the past on other projects, such as his comic book series “Powers.”
I was also surprised by some of the plot twists that occurred, including one toward the end that I will leave for you to see for yourself.
The script also has some great dialogue and uses phrases that were common during the 1930s to make readers feel as if they were in that era. Along the way, the characters develop as they attempt to crack the puzzle while experiencing events that throw them off course as they try catching their crook.
I would recommend reading this book simply because it is a mystery thriller that demonstrates the repercussions the case had on those who were caught up in its grasp. The numerous plot twists will make you wonder what will happen next and question if the case was ever even solved.