Review: Thief of Thieves Volume 1
“Life’s not fair? Cool, stop telling me to play fair then.”
The first collection of stories of the worlds greatest thief is here! Collecting Issues #1-7, Thief of Thieves Trade paperback Volume 1 “I QUIT!” is the perfect jumping on point for new fans. By the time you finish the second issue you will be hooked and by the time you finish the volume, you’ll understand immediately why this was optioned for a possible TV show.
There are two elements that make the non-superhero books exciting to read: life or death stakes and compelling protagonists. The great comics have both of these and they hook you in. Unlike books with super powers, any deaths won’t be reversed by retcon or magic. Every choice has consequences. A bullet between the eyes could mean a characters permanent end. And the character has to be, not only interesting enough to keep following but have wants, needs, and desires so rich they will go to any lengths to get them. Redmond, this worlds greatest thief, is exactly this sort of character. With story by Robert Kirkman and issues #1-7 scripted by Nick Spencer, Thief of Thieves launches as the first of Kirkman’s Skybound imprint. Redmond’s story does not disappoint.
Redmond has long and storied career as a thief. The book jumps back and forth between Redmond’s posh, comfortable present and his tumultuous and chaotic past, where he rises to the top. We find out he is considering retirement. This news comes as a bombshell to the crack team of experts he’s employed, who have come to rely on Redmond’s planning and guidance for their next payday. Redmond is a man who is torn by two lives; his ex-wife and son and his government name of Conrad Paulson and his code name Redmond and all the ill-gotten gains he’s accumulated. He doesn’t even want to stop stealing altogether: he will only do commit crimes against those who deserve it. After two years of planning the Venice job, he up and quits in front of his team. It seems that even with all his money, and everything he has gained, he has lost that which he cannot replace. His actions and choices have destroyed any hope of a continuing relationship with his ex-wife and son. He was partially responsible for the death of his brother-in-law. Only too late does Redmond realize he was fighting for the wrong things and taking a “better late than never” approach. The real issue is one of Ego though. He doesn’t want to give up being the best. He wants redemption without admission of wrong doing.
This book is a great read because of the high stakes. Every character has so much they could gain, and yet so much to lose. And that is on both sides of the law. There are some great easter eggs too for Kirkman fans of Invincible. In this universe, it appears to be a children’s show with both Omni-Man action figures and a cartoon series. The only thing missing from this trade is Robert Kirkman’s very poignant letter from the back of Thief of Thieves issue #1. The letter talks about how story is the most important thing and how one day he hopes there won’t be comic book fans and everyone else, but fans of good stories above all else, regardless of medium. Pick this trade up and join the adventures of the world’s greatest thief. Don’t just wait for it to come to your screen, get in at the ground floor.
For more great reads, check out Image Comics.
Geek Smash rating: 89/100