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Hit: 1957 is the sequel to the original series Hit: 1955 that was published in 2013. Hit: 1955 sets us up crime noir story that follows homicide detective Harvey Slater. The trade paperback for Hit: 1955 features a short story called “Bonnie”, about a bombshell that has returned in Hit: 1957. Now, Bryce Carlson starts the story with Bonnie and the new life she has created for herself while giving us glimpses of what is going on in Harvey’s life.
Carlson’s writing jumps back and forth between Harvey and Bonnie, depicting simultaneous events. We follow Harvey and other members of the LAPD as they try to track down a particular criminal. The scene reminds me of the musical Guys and Dolls, but with less violence. Bonnie’s story starts out with her living a life, with a false name. She has run from her past and people in her life have no clue what her entails. Things took an unexpected turn for her when an old acquaintance needs to see her.
A few of the panels felt a little text heavy, but overall the story flowed well. The story was filled with action helping it move along without a dull moment. Vanesa R. Del Rey, who was nominated for a Russ Manning award, debuted in the comic world with Hit: 1955. Looking at Del Rey’s artwork it’s easy to see how she earned the nomination. The art style is exactly what I would expect to see in a quality comic book. Her artwork reinforces the 1950’s noir feel without everything having to be dark and ominous. Niko Guardia’s colors are of course an important element in this depiction.
The one thing that confused me about this issue is the newspaper clippings at the beginning and end. I haven’t read Hit: 1955, so I’m not sure if this is carried over from there or just a new element to the book. I am hoping that it’s tied into the story rather than just meaningless information. At first glance it doesn’t look out of place, until you start to read the text. There’s no indication that this is important to the story now or even in the long run. The art of the newspaper clipping is consistent with that of the rest of the book, which is a bonus.
If you enjoyed Hit: 1955, Criminal, or other crime noir comics then you should have no trouble getting into Hit: 1957. Overall, this story was really good, just not my personal taste. I’ve never been a huge fan of crime stories. Despite my lack of interest in crime noir I would be willing to give the next issue a chance. It’s fast paced storytelling, so it’s a book I can easily recommend to fans of the genre whether they buy single issues or trade paperbacks. I’m sure a lot of the story would make more sense if I had read Hit: 1955. It would give more insight to Harvey, but Carlson wrote this in a way that would be easy for anyone to jump on board.