Best Comics You’ve Never Heard Of: TORSO

Image Comics
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis, Marc Andreyko
Artist: Brian Michael Bendis

Remember “The Untouchables?” The great book/movie about Eliot Ness taking on organized crime in Chicago? Yeah, of course you do. Well, this is what happens after. And it’s so different and darker than anyone ever expected it could be.

Eliot Ness is fresh off of his legendary Untouchables case and moves to Cleveland only to end up involved in the most disturbing case of his career. Bodies are showing up around town. Literally. Bodies. Nothing else. Obviously, the killer gains the name “the Cleveland Torso Murderer.” When you’re a famous cop everyone is watching what you’ll do next and Mr. Ness doesn’t just want to solve this case. He has to. With no DNA testing and only a splatter of clues available Eliot Ness gives his all. Which might not be enough when he digs deeper in the depths of Cleveland.

Before he became Mr. Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis was known for gritty crime fiction and independent comics. He teamed with the brilliant Marc Andreyko to write this based-on-a-true-story case of gruesome crime and the result is one of the best, most intense mini-series’ I’ve ever read. To declare the book a page turner is an understatement to rival all understatements. The book pulls you into Eliot’s world and his struggle trying to solve this bizarre case. You really feel the heavy burden that sits on his shoulders as the country watches him. He’s just come of one of the biggest, most incredible jobs in American police history and is a celebrity, but still a cop. If he isn’t up to finding the murderer than maybe everything with the Untouchables was just a fluke. Maybe he isn’t as good as everyone thinks he is.

What Bendis and Andreyko craft is powerful and thrilling on many levels. Bendis himself provides the dark, moody art. It’s a perfect fit for this incredible noir story. This is a phenomenal gateway book for those who haven’t read comics before but love crime fiction.