Written by Dan Abnett Art by Andy Clarke Color by Chris Blythe Published by IDW
Sinister Dexter is a graphic novel collecting the Sinister Dexter series previously published by 2000AD. The stories center on two ‘gun sharks’ (hit-men) – Finny Sinister and his brother in arms, Ray Dexter. The look is reminiscent of the classic Miami Vice in terms of the titular characters. The action takes place in a near-future city called Download.
The lead characters work well as a partnership; they offer enough during the course of the book to maintain interest in their development. The action is well choreographed and is presented well. Between some weaker stories, you get some really nice ideas. Admittedly there is a rather generic feel to some of the sci-fi aspects – this isn’t a high end science book so that is forgivable.
The book is laced with a nice dose of humour that really helps, going from bawdy to slapstick. Some of the characters are really vibrant – my personal show stealer being the “Poly-Metal Synthetic” Gun Shark Polly Alloy – a morphing, ice-cream munching, child assassin.
The art in the book is functional, rather than spectacular. It is mostly quite consistent quality with only a few weaker sections. Not a bad effort considering the size of the book.
Overall, there are some nice stories and in parts there are some weaker entries. This is natural in terms of an episodic collection. They all can’t be A-list material. Despite the nice use of levity, there is an issue with some of the dialogue, which detracts from the flow of the stories. The first page is one that suffers from the accented Finny Sinister. It is this kind of thing that brings the dialogue down a little. The censored language, once you adjust to it, does stick with you – days after reading I was thinking in terms of ‘what the funt!’
I really enjoyed the ‘origin’ story in the book – it was well thought out and nicely presented. It was presented well into the book so you already knew these guys very well, but there was enough in the set up of their initial relationship to give fresh insight.
Had the creators given the stories more of an edge I think this book would have been stronger – the lesser aspects reside in terms of the indestructible feel you get for Finny and Ray. Yes, they are the best there is at what they do and what they do is kill people… That said, you lack dramatic impetus if they are too good and that is a failing in this book. No matter the odds you always feel – despite the taxi chase with Polly Alloy – that the boys’ will invariably make it.