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Road to Perdition

A graphic novel bu Max Allan Collins about a father and his young son who seek revenge on the mob.

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Historical Fiction and the Art of Comics.

  • Apr 9, 2003
Rating:
+5
Even though the art seems simplistic and derivitive at times and the story perhaps somewhat cliched, when one actually takes the time to read ROAD TO PERDITION it becomes abundantly clear how much a work of love this novel was to both the author and the artist. The story is well known now since the release of the film in the summer of 2002 and revolves around Michael O'Sullivan, a hit man known as the Angel of Death because he does his job so well. However, O'Sullivan has a family and when his boss becomes paranoid that his Angel's little angels are going to bring down his empire he orders them all killed. But things don't work out very nicely and what follows is the tale of a father and son traveling together on a journey to Perdition to save their souls.

It has been suggested that the artwork looks copied from pictures of the period. This isn't quite true. The drawings seem similar to pictures of the period, but they are different. It is a testament of Rayner's work and skill. His simplistic, yet intricate drawings are so well done that some mistake them for the inspirations on which they are based.

Collins story is also more interesting than some have suggested. Not only is it a decent story about the love of a father towards his son (and there are more than a few Biblical allusions here), but it is also steeped in history from the period. Though this is a novel, it is more than that. It is a historical graphic novel and one will be hard pressed to refute the actual historical facts that seep through almost every page.

The book is more violent and dark than the movie that is based upon it. Yet at the same time, it is full of more hope and light. Most characters are more fleshed out than they are in the film and there is a lot of background information that the movie failed or could not include.

A great gift for any fan of the movie, any crime buff fan, or anyone interested in interested in buying a better than average graphic novel.

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About this book

Wiki

Originally published as a single-volume graphic novel in 1998, this is the comics work upon which the Tom Hanks movie is based. It's the story of Michael O'Sullivan, a feared and religiously inclined mob hit man who's brutally betrayed-and the fierce vengeance he wreaks. It's 1930 and O'Sullivan works for the Looneys, an Irish mob family with a stranglehold on the politics and businesses of a small Midwestern city. Curious about his dad's mysterious "job," Michael Jr. stows away in his car to see what he does for a living. He inadvertently witnesses his father and one of the Looneys murder a crooked cop and his partners. Fearing what the kid saw, the Looneys set the O'Sullivans up to be killed. They murder O'Sullivan's wife and younger son, leaving him stunned but determined to have his revenge. The Looneys go into hiding, and O'Sullivan and son set out to find them, encountering the celebrities of gangland Chicago along the way. Collins writes a good gangster yarn based on historical personalities and full of crisp dialogue, violent action and brooding overtones of religious redemption. But O'Sullivan is essentially a superhero in a fedora, and his ability to kill an overwhelming number of adversaries with nary a scratch to show for it is a bit ridiculous. Though Rayner's b&w drawings can be static, they are precisely rendered with strikingly delineated faces. Like movie posters, his drawings capture the action ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0743442245
ISBN-13: 978-0743442244
Author: Max Allan Collins
Genre: Crime Drama, Comics & Graphic Novels
Publisher: Paradox Press, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster
Date Published: 1998
Format: Graphic novel
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