Yea, yea, yea…I know. I keep reviewing the same series. Well, it’s not my fault I can’t get enough of this series right now…

What: 100 Bullets: Samurai

Who: By Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.

When: Originally published as 100 Bullets #s 43-49 in 2003-04.

Where: Atomic City Comics on South St.

Why: I read most of the issues included in this collection as they came out years ago. However, at that time I had not read the majority of the previous issues and lacked the perspective I’ve gained since reading through the entire series. And what do I realize now that I didn’t then? This is when everything changed. The tone of the book is much different than in previous chapters. The concept of Agent Graves distributing the attaché of untraceable bullets is nearly gone, while the mysteries that have been building since issue #1 and the revelations of the Minutemen are definitely at the forefront.

This book uses imprisonment, both literal and figurative, as its central theme as we see Loop from Volume 4 joined in prison by the mad assassin Lono in the first part and Jack who was a blip of a character from Vol. 2 starting to get a handle on himself when he’s confront by some cage hunted tigers on his way to Atlantic City. It is impossible to have expectations on these stories. When one chapter begins, not even the themes and icons tip you off enough to have any idea where you’ll be by the end.

I’ve been devouring these trades, easily neglecting my usual Marvel and Disney reads. Along with series like Hellboy, Bone and Y: The Last Man, I cannot recommend this series enough. If you try it and hate, I’ll buy you lunch.

(My own complaint? The change from issue-to-issue credits which remind you of the fact that this story was originally issues. I don’t love modifying the original comics.)