Thief of Thieves #35
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Andy Diggle
Art, Cover: Shawn Martinbrough
Colours: Adriano Lucas
Lettering: Rus Wooton
London. Conrad Paulson, the titular “thief of thieves” under the alias of Redmond, finally manages to steal the blueprints he’s looking for thanks to his ally and occasional lover Celia, who in the past had tried to replace him as Redmond forcing him out of retirement. But he has a problem: the British intelligence services now think he is a terrorist due to a colleague’s dirty tricks. Inexplicably, the car in which Conrad and Celia are trying to make their escape doesn’t start: it’s been hacked into by another thief, Fausto Delgado, who also wants those blueprints – and manages to take them from the master thief.
This adrenaline-filled issue, that sees a couple of testosterone-loaded alpha males clash before the amused (but interested) eyes of a woman like Celia, brings this story arc to full speed after a couple of issues that were anyway full of action. After over 30 issues in which Thief of Thieves has mostly focussed on Conrad as a “thinking thief” (although he has never been exactly lazy), this arc is changing him into an unwilling but more than capable action (anti)hero.
Andy Diggle is showing us a new side of Paulson’s, one that fits perfectly with what we have found out about him until now but that is also different from the knowledge of him we have gathered. I will not go into detail to avoid spoiler, but expect to be surprised!
The art by the very good Shawn Martinbrough, whose roots lie deep in the 1980s, perfectly matches this (relatively) new style, bringing us back to a time in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest film star around and action movies filled theatres everywhere.
Obviously, though, Thief of Thieves hasn’t become a simple series of bar brawls, jumps across chasms and car chases: it still maintains its style, with a main character that the reader can’t help liking despite the fact that he is… well, a thief, a criminal, a “bad guy”.
This issue is an easy, entertaining, adrenalin-filled read, that transitions towards… well, I won’t tell you, you need to read it to find out!