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This one just got signed on for a movie deal, thought id hype it while i can. Winner of a 1999 Eisner award, this one...ill just use the pitch Benis used that got it a movie deal, taken from Jinxworld, his site....


Torso...is a stylish recounting of one of the most fascinating, and forgotten, chapters in American history.


Eliot Ness, fresh from his legendary Chicago triumph over Al Capone and associates, set his sights on Cleveland. By 1930, Cleveland was nothing short of a hell town. A totally corrupt police force and judiciary system had made the city a safe haven for some of the most colorful mobsters in history.


Eliot ness took the job as safety director of the city and went on a crusade that matched, and sometimes even surpassed, his past accomplishments.


But while all this was going on, dismembered body parts started washing up in a concentrated area of Lake Erie sound. These mostly headless torsos were victims that left no clues to their identity, or their cause or reason for death.


Anywhere from twelve to thirty victims can be attributed to the media dubbed TORSO MURDERER or HEADHUNTER. It was America’s first true serial killer. A horror unlike anything America had ever seen. The story was so far reaching that Hitler mentioned it as one of the signs of America’s decaying society.


Elliot ness and his colorful gang of THE UNKNOWNS chased this killer; a killer who haunted a city already crippled by the depression and the looming world war,


through the underbelly of Cleveland for years. A chase that cost Ness his marriage and some say his reputation.


As far as the public was concerned, he was never captured. But what really happened is even more shocking.


Thanks to spiffytee for grabbing the trade for me, a great deal at $25. Like Jinx, its strengths lie in Bendis' mastery of dialogue, and the art - noir with some abstract scenes when appropriate - involves the reader in the building suspense the way many other comics should. The plot is amazing, really cool (yet creepy) when the afterword shows actual documentation for much of the story...

If you're a Bendis fan (hard not to like his work on Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man), or just crime fiction itself, grab this one soon as you can, you won't regret it.



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  • 4 years later...
  • 3 years later...

Seriously, a book as gritty(art wise) as this deserves it's own thread. I found a lot of parallels between this & From Hell, with the key exception that Bendis isn't in completely up his own arse playing the fiddle. Sure it's Dialogue-heavy, and maybe still a far-fetched take on an actual unsolved crime, but it's not the size of a fucking phonebook and is readable/getable in one pass and/or lifetime.


I'm still trying to get my hands on a doco 'The Fourteenth Victim' as I find the whole case interesting as hell.

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heh...7 years too late, still takes the potshot on Moore for the baytors in the crowd


agreed, still waiting to see if this movie ever gets made, its weird how we have so much crime/gangster pieces here that feel like they've scraped the bottom of the barrel, then Bendis shows you this mad interesting event you'd not heard of somehow. I think the last hour or so i was watching Zodiac, i wanted it to just turn into this.


as an aside; i hated From Hell at first, i recall finding Eddie Campbell's art so off-putting that i dropped it entirely. years later, at a friend's behest i read it all in one night, and instantly hated the movie. different strokes & all, but i really enjoyed it.

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How on earth did you finish that book in one lunar cycle?! I'd still wager one sitting would easily take a day or more.


I had no problem with Eddie Campbell's art, this was when Preacher was still edgy to me and a then along comes a sketchy lesbian scene?! Mind was blown. From Hell is to Torso what Watchmen Book is to Watchmen Movie. Conveys the basic theme with all the appropriate pizzazz without getting muddied down with content. Punchier. Just the way I like it.

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yeah, mighta been a few nights. i love security jobs.


i'll never know why you're comparing

Moore's take on Jack the ripper (laden with misogyny, occult symbolism, and eventually, "4th dimension" time-travel) to Bendis' gritty take on "the one that got away" from Elliot Ness

, but i see the point you're going for, carry on.

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