Tyler Cross V.1: Black Rock

Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock cover

It’s 1950, and Tyler Cross has just robbed 17 kilos of pure heroin from the Mafia. He has 20 dollars in his pocket, a Colt in his belt, and he’s on foot, alone, in deepest darkest Texas. He’s heading for Black Rock, a down-and-out southern town under the thumb of a petrol magnate and his sons. We can safely say that the hillbillies of Black Rock won’t be forgetting this gangster’s visit any time soon… A hard and fast 1950s gangster tale by Nury and Brüno.

A crime drama devoid of anyone decent; in the end, everyone loses. This volume one collects the first three Tyler Cross issues. Digital only, like all translated works from Europe Comics.

Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 1
Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 2

A hardened criminal does a robbery gone bad, ends up in a corrupt town and ruins everything in his path to get the job done. Tyler Cross is a character you just can’t like, and that’s good. This is a crime noir story and we aren’t supposed to like anyone, least of all the main character. The few decent people we’re introduced to get steamrolled and end up fodder. You really don’t mind when a character gets killed because you’re thinking “good riddance”.

Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 3
Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 4

Nury crafts characters so well in this story. Their every action exudes the driving force of their character, and in this setting, we’re not looking for growth or character development. We need them to be what they are: rotten, greedy, bad. There is one decent family woven throughout, but they’re bad trampled in the end, just like any hope we readers have held out.

Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 5
Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 6

Brüno has a unique style that works very well. I was thrown off the first few pages by the exaggerated physical appearances of the characters, but it’s a consistent look that plays with Nury’s exaggerated characters. The colour choices are excellent, playing mood and environment for each scene. Love the constant shadow play on Cross’ face throughout the story.

Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 7
Tyler Cross V.1 Black Rock interior 8

This post originally appeared at Comic Book Daily.