Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: André Lima Araújo
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Rus Wooton
The pacing and detail that goes into the action sequences in A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance comes across on every page, in every panel. Issue #4 consists mainly of an extended car and foot chase, and the creative team expertly milks every moment.
The thoughtful pacing isn’t simply built around big set pieces or shocking moments. A whole page, almost devoid of letters, is dedicated to Neva entering her apartment in a panic, then embracing her child. The space and action flares underscore both the chaos and sentiment of the moment, no words needed.
Another full, 10 panel page–again, silent–shows our protagonists cross a street, enter a car, and look up to see another car approaching. It’s simple, yet incredibly dramatic and tense. A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance is a book that takes it’s time, allows every moment to breathe, until suddenly you’re choking on a jolt of violence or burst of intrigue.
These sequences make great use of establishing shots and smaller, quiet panels. The latter are a Remender staple, frequently seen in Deadly Class and LOW. Regardless of how big or brutal the action is, we never lose sight of the characters, how the pressure is working them.
Chris O’Halloran’s distinct palette provides the madness with a deceptively soft, vivid cover. Though, the book does afford itself a few moments of levity. Like, the random man on the street freaking on Sonny with the full power and fury of Araújo’s action panels.
Despite the slow, concentrated story, A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance has already spun itself something of a rogues gallery. Blue Jackal is creepy as hell with his placid demeanor and camera phone at the ready. Mayor Oak continues to be revolting simply by existing. And with a super-sized hit out on Sonny and Neva, we can expect a host of new villains to start cropping up next month.
It will be interesting to see what answers we’ll have by the end of the first arc. It’s still unclear what exactly Sonny knows and can do. He seems to have some intentions and skill when it comes to disturbing these professional assassins, yet rarely seems capable or prepared. What is his work, and what is coincidence? And that’s to say nothing of why the Mayor wants Neva dead.
Things will no doubt become more clear once Sonny and Neva get a quiet moment to chat. But knowing Remender and company, who the hell knows when that might be?
A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance #4
A Righteous Thirst for Vengeance is one of the most tense, thoughtfully paced books I've read. The end of the book's first arc is shaping up to be something glorious and disturbing.