Brother Lono by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso – A Book Review

It’s not necessary to read Azzarello and Risso’s Eisner award-winning series 100 Bullets to understand Brother Lono, but it would certainly help.  Lono proved a breakout character from that hard-boiled serial, so it’s no surprise that years after 100 Bullets fired its final shot, Lono should make a reappearance.

Azzarello and Risso tell a classic tale, but of course, with their own violent and disturbing twist.  Lono has found himself south of the border in a town ruled by a drug cartel.  It’s a merciless town, a lawless town, but instead of reveling in his natural habitat, Lono takes refuge at an outlying church.  There he tries to stifle the demon within, protect the church’s orphans, and aid Father Perez however possible.

But as these stories so often prove, sometimes we need monsters to fight monsters.  When the drug cartel threatens to annex the church, Lono must draw a line in the sand.  And, if you know Lono, that line isn’t stationary.  His line keeps moving toward his enemies until every last one  of them is annihilated.  The question is, once he’s the last devil standing, will he still side with the angels?

Violent, disturbing, frightening – Brother Lono somehow takes the previously established tone dictated by 100 Bullets, devours it, and then spits out something even more gruesome and demented.

Of course, that’s meant as a total compliment.  Azzarello and Risso have created a fitting companion piece to their original series, and if they continue to keep to their high standards, I would love to see them return to this world again and again.

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