Mind Capsules – Moonshine #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #19

Moonshine #1

Writer – Brian Azzarello
Artist – Eduardo Risso
Colours – Eduardo Risso
Letters – Jared H. Fletcher

As one might guess by the title of this book, it is indeed about those spirits brewed outside the bounds of the law. Written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by the incomparable Eduardo Risso, the team behind the critically acclaimed 100 Bullets, Moonshine marks the beginning of their next epic together and it contains many of the same elements that made that aforementioned series a success. It begins with furtive movements in the dark and quickly segues into the realm of horror and mystery before finally settling on some straightforward drama and promises of violence. As is the case with Azzarello and Risso, they bring us a colourful cast of characters, the first being the leading man of it all, Lou Pirlo. He seems like a straight-shooter and a man who obviously gets by on his looks, but he does work for the mob, so whether he is a ‘good’ guy or a bad one or simply walks the line between the two remains to be seen. The mob boss is your classic James Cagney/Edward G. Robinson stereotype, not to mention as crazy as a loon. Lou is not exactly scared of the man, but realizes that he should stay on his boss’s good side because not doing so means trouble of the worst kind. Last but not least is the man whom the book seems to be about – Hiram Holt, the man who makes the titular moonshine. Holt’s drink is the best to be found, like wine unto the gods and as such, Pirlo’s boss wants it for himself. There is something about Holt, some mystery about his family that ties into the events from the beginning of the book and he as much confirms it when he threatens Lou at one point. Azzarello’s script is smart and with Risso on pencils, the story draws you in so deeply, you almost feel as if you are there in those backwoods with Lou. There was a moment during the beginning of the book where you thought it would venture into familiar territory and maybe it will in certain ways, but in a very crowded marketplace, Moonshine sets itself apart, due in part to how compelling it becomes the further you get into it and thanks to the refreshing nature of it all.

4.5 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #19

Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – Giuseppe Camuncoli, Javier Garron
Inker – Cam Smith
Colours – Jason Keith, Frank D’Armata
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

There have been many times in Peter’s life where he has failed, whether a woman he loves, his family or himself and in this issue; he does so again courtesy of storytellers Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli. This is one of those stories that are more quiet in nature and takes a bit of a break from the larger story being told and while they might feature some action from villainous sources or otherwise, it is one of those that ends in tragedy. Slott brings that pain and futility across beautifully and one cannot help but think back to other moments throughout Spider-Man’s life where he went through a similar experience. For one of our cast members it means a loss of self, another, a loss of trust and for one, though it devastates, it adds fuel to a fire that of late, has burned low. How this affects the characters in the book going forward, particularly Jonah and his relationship with Peter will be intriguing to say the least. Aside from the main tale, Slott also brings us another featuring the Jackal actively trying to recruit Wilson Fisk to his cause. It would have been an impossible task on the best of days and when he shows up with a reincarnated Vanessa by his side, Fisk is less than impressed. This story tells the reader a few things, the biggest of which is that the Jackal has big plans, large enough that he is willing to risk the ire of Wilson Fisk to achieve his goals. Neither of the two men is willing to accept the other as boss and whether they clash again during the upcoming Clone Conspiracy should be interesting to see. For the most part, this was not the most thrilling of issues and to be fair, not every issue of every book can be filled with non-stop action. It does manage to cement itself as an important part in Peter’s life as well as a part of the Dead No More storyline, one that will have repercussions for at least a little while to come. Slott knows how to write good Spider-Man stories and this is another that proves that very statement.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. I’ve not read Moonshine, but your review makes it sound really good. Not the usual sort of comic I’d normally read, but sometimes something different like this can be extremely rewarding to discover. I enjoyed Amazing Spider-Man #19, it was a very powerful and moving issue, and Jackal’s plan is taking shape, going to be interesting to see where this story goes next. Great pair of reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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