Tuesday, 28 May 2013

From the Files of...Mike Hammer: The Complete Dailies and Sundays - Volume 1 Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Mickey Spillane
Art By Ed Robbins
Cover By Ed Robbins

Published By Hermes Press

Crime, Thriller


America’s most well-known, hardboiled detective, Mike Hammer, returns with Hermes Press’ complete archival reprint of the entire continuity, From the Files of… Mike Hammer!

Reprinting all of the dailies and Sunday strips (in digitally reconstructed color) this book will be the final word on this pop culture icon. The strip, which was distributed to newspapers by the Phoenix Features Syndicate, ran for only one year (1953-1954) — but what a year it was!

The strip is pure Mickey Spillane and was crafted under his watchful eye with art by Ed Robbins.

The feature has everything fans of Mike Hammer would expect: Mike, Zelda, good girls, bad girls, gun-play, and lots of action! Accompanying the strips are two in-depth essays by noted mystery writer and Mickey Spillane expert Max Collins (Road to Perdition).


As of late and after reading 'Complex 90' by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, I've been on a real Mike Hammer kick.  His stories are fast paced, exciting and gloriously un-pc and those are just a couple of the reasons why I like them so much.  In a world of the overly sanitized, they seem like a breath of fresh air.

Here is no different.  This are the classic dailies and Sunday comic strips that really helped to get Mike Hammer's name out there and the stories are each fantastic.  They really do move along at an absolutely cracking pace and are just as good as Spillane's novels.  In fact, in some places they are even better thanks to the classic style art work.

The stories themselves remind me a bit of the classic Marvel stories only with spies, murder and intrigue instead of superheroes but that's a good thing.  Those days truly were the golden age of comics and it's easy to see why with titles such as this one having been doing the rounds as the saying goes.

I've always liked the whole 'kick ass then ask questions' approach that Hammer takes in his stories and these are true private eye / pulp style stories in all their goodness.

This really is a collection that is well worth picking up.  The stories are brilliant, fast paced and well drawn.  Spillane's magic really shines on these stories and there are even some great insights lead by Max Allan Collins as well.  If anybody is going to know about these characters other than Spillane it's Collins.

Those essay by Collins make this collection even more of a must for the Hammer fans out there and why not?  Great stories, great art work and Max Allan Collins.  That to me is a great trio of reasons to buy a collection.

Story 4/5
Art 4/5
Overall 8/10

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