Friday, 21 March 2014

‘The Complete Accident Man’ – Pat Mills et al (Titan Comics)

Mike Fallon is a hitman who can make 'death by chocolate' a reality...

As sexy as James Bond; lethal and discrete as an air bubble to the heart, Mike Fallon is a genius at the art of making assassination look like an unfortunate accident.

The Complete Accident Man collects, for the first time ever four tales of sex, revenge and violence written by legendary comics author Pat Mills together with Tony Skinner and artwork by an outstanding selection of international stars.

Sometimes titles can be so misleading can’t they? Having never read ‘Toxic’ back in the day, ‘Accident Man’ sounded like something a little bit slapstick and that sounded like just what I was after (rough week and all that). It turned out that I was half right; Mike Fallon doesn’t have accidents, he creates them to hide his handiwork and this makes for a collection of tales that perhaps aren’t best suited to being collected in one volume. It’s not that they’re not entertaining; it’s just that they all follow the same line – Mike has a hit to carry out and he makes it look like a tragic accident every single time. It did feel like if you read one then you’ve read them all, you certainly end up knowing how the latter stories are going to turn out (although, to be fair, a lot of the deaths are very cleverly planned).

It’s still a very entertaining read though; not least down to Mike Fallon himself, a professional hit man who somehow manages to endear himself to the reader by being amazingly shallow. Every life ended is nothing more than perhaps a new motorbike or Ferrari to buy with the proceeds; Mike embodies the worst excesses of the eighties then (a yuppie hitman?) but his easy smile lets him get away with an awful lot. You can’t help but root for Mike because of his sheer honesty funnily enough.

Reading ‘The Complete Accident Man’ is like listening to the same song over and over again but Mills’ approach (a dash of sly humour coupled with a lot of action and intrigue) just about pulls it off. Don’t expect anything too deep and meaningful here (listening to Mike hold forth on saving the environment puts paid to that!), just a fun way to kill an hour or so… A shorter review than normal then but, sometimes, a book doesn't leave you with much to say (nice cover art though...)

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