Of all the Robert Kirkman created genre-comics, Thief of Thieves feels so grounded. Compare concepts in their purest form and Thief of Thieves just doesn’t seem like it has anywhere near the same potential as his other titles. The Walking Dead reinvents zombies (and possibly also television), Invincible incinerates superhero tropes almost monthly, and Thief of Thieves… steals a lot of stuff?
Start reading the series, though, and the cynicism starts to wash away pretty quickly. This isn’t just a comic about a guy stealing stuff. Consumers of pop culture know that story, from Ocean’s 11 to The Sting to every Gambit storyline in X-Men. Sure the heists, the impossible plans, and the thieving in the face of the law are all fun. But that’s not what makes this comic book tick.
At its core, Thief of Thieves works for one reason: Redmond.
The all-time master thief is simply a fascinating character: concocting absurd heists, always keeping the details several inches too close to the chest, and somehow still pining after his nuclear family (who may or may not want NOTHING to do with him).
Redmond isn’t your typical thief pulling off “one last job” so he can retire with Vin Diesel and the Fast and the Furious gang on an island. He’s stealing because it’s what he’s great at and he has no clue how else to fix his broken life.
With “Thief of Thieves #20”, Andy Diggle kicks off his second story arc, and begins with Redmond locked away in an Italian prison. As you’d expect, the master thief has angered a LOT of vicious mobsters after his last job. And as you’d also always expect, he has a plan or two to deal with the situation. You wouldn’t expect a little thing like a foreign prison to keep Redmond down, would you?
The action here is crisp with Shawn Martinbrough’s art driving the frenetic pace through car chases, shoot outs, and getaway planes. One of the more interesting stylistic elements of Thief of Thieves has always been it’s sudden jumps in both location and timeline, and none of that is possible without Martinbrough keeping the reader up to speed.
All in all, this is a good kick-off to a new arc from Diggle & Martinbrough.
Verdict: 7 out of 10