100 Bullets 5: The Counterfifth Detective

100 bullets volume 5 the counterfifth detective cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Like the 100 Bullets where the bigger story is in the background

Good but kind of predictable in some ways

Comic Info

Comic Name: 100 Bullets

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Brian Azzarello

Artist: Eduardo Risso

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2003

100 bullets #31 cover

100 Bullets #31

Reprints 100 Bullets #31-36 (February 2002-July 2002).  Milo Garret is a hardboiled detective who is recovering after losing a fight with his windshield after a car accident.  Wrapped in bandages, Milo finds himself approached by Agent Graves who tells Milo that he has a chance to get even with the man who set him up…but Milo quickly finds himself caught in a spiral of lies and allies who might not be who they say they are.  Milo is about to discover that the past he thought he knew might not be as clear as he believed.

Written by Brian Azzarello, 100 Bullets Volume 5:  The Counterfifth Detective is a DC Comics crime comic book collection published under the Vertigo imprint.  Following 100 Bullets Volume 4:  A Foregone Tomorrow, the series features art by Eduardo Risso, and issues in this collection were also collected as part of 100 Bullets—Volume 2 and 100 Bullets Omnibus—Volume 1.

It is very push-pull for 100 Bullets and me.  I really like some of the stuff Azzarello did with the series, but I also hate a lot of the stuff Azzarello did with the series.  This entry in the collection is one of the better entries in that it is a good exploration in the noir genre and also doesn’t find itself too buried in vernacular and clever attempts at writing.

100 bullets #36 cover

100 Bullets #36

The story is pretty straightforward and in line with a lot of pulp stories.  You have a detective whose hiring has surpassed finding the answers he was hired to find and getting into the “why” of why he was hired.  The search for a stolen piece of art has Milo in contact with a lot of shady people and ends up opening a floodgate of memories he didn’t expect.

The repressed memories tie into the bigger picture but also seems a bit predictable in the world of 100 Bullets.  As a member of the Minutemen (with the codename of “The Bastard”), Milo did a lot of shady stuff.  With his memories reawakened, Milo discovers he is in a fight for his life that he had forgotten.  Like many hardboiled detectives, Milo essentially damns himself by not being able to give up on the assignment…and discovering leaving his past life isn’t possible.

In general, 100 Bullets is a clever and smart series filled with interesting stories and thought-provoking ideas.  I prefer entries like these with a nicely written story and the bigger picture put on the backburner where it can simmer and grow.  In the world of 100 Bullets, the past always seems to catch up to you, and Milo finds that out the hard way.  100 Bullets 5:  The Counterfifth Detective is followed by 100 Bullets 6:  Six Feet Under the Gun.

Preceded By:

100 Bullets 4:  A Foregone Tomorrow

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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