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Filthy Rich - Brian Azzarello and Victor Santos



ording to the cover of "Filthy Rich," Brian Azzarello ("Joker," "100 Bullets") wrote it. But so steeped it is in the loving basics of classic noir, you'll almost swear James M. Cain had something to do with it.

Azzarello's book is the first title to be released in the new Vertigo Crime line of small-sized, hardback, black-and-white graphic novels. With such stark, striking cover art and sharp design (dig that chalk outline on the spine!), this is a series to which collectors will flock.

Good thing the insides are really, really good. The story centers on Richard Junkin "? nickname of Junk "? a former football star whose career came to a crashing halt with a knee injury. The only job he can get now is selling cars, and that has less to do with his salesmanship skills, and more to do with his employer trading on Junk's celebrity, however fading.

But Junk keeps people coming in the doors, which is why his boss, Mr. Soeffer, doesn't can him. Instead, he gives him a new gig: "babysitting" Soeffer's pampered, partying, wild-child daughter, Victoria. All he's supposed to do is keep her name "? and, by extension, Soeffer's "? out of the papers. Of course, Victoria is a classic femme fatale, and Junk the kind of chump who can't resist her charms.

With moody art by Victor Santos, "Filthy Rich" pours delight from every page. It's as dark as the shadows and as dirty as the alleys. "All's well that ends well" never comes to pass, and we wouldn't want it any other way. Vertigo Crime"?Rod Lott

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