The Executor - Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti 

For author Jon Evans' entry in the Vertigo Crime line of graphic mysteries, he tells the story of Joe Ullen, who unwittingly becomes "The Executor" when the woman he loved so long ago dies, and leaves him in charge of her estate, with what little there is of one.

With reluctance, Joe revisits his hometown to parcel out the measly checks and take care of her things. He doesn't exactly receive a hero's welcome, and his return manages to stir up ghosts of the past that never found rest.

Mixing disturbing elements with the politics of race, Evans' novel is more high-minded than its predecessors in the franchise, yet the least "fun." Obviously, it's not supposed to be fun, but it's a real downer, even with the addition of illicit sex. This is also the rare case of the line's black-and-white art actually working against it; although Andrea Mutti's art is fine, it's so dark, it contributes to the story's dreariness. "?Rod Lott

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