by Zachary Whittaker

Written & Drawn by: Stefano Cardoselli
Colouring by: Panta Rea
Lettering & Logo by: Bram Meehan
Edited by: Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Production by: Joel Rodriguez

Just how many exploded heads do you want in the next comic you read? Yeah it’s not a question I’d thought about either. If you answered “no exploded heads” this might not be the book for you.

Jonny is a crash test robot turned hitman for Don Vito Coriaci, a mob boss in Santa Clara City. But one day Jonny will be sent on a job he chooses not to come back from, and there begins the premise for Sweet Downfall.

Honestly I was attracted to this book by the artwork alone, Stefano Cardoselli’s artwork is packed with hyperactive detail, every surface looks textured and grimy, while every cityscape feels overcrowded and packed with energy. There’s a lot to take in, with some unconventional panelling and unusual perspectives to keep things extra interesting.

Panta Rea’s colouring also adds a great amount of depth and variety to Cardoselli’s artwork, providing an extra layer of variety to the already cacophonous amount of detail.

Narratively this is an interesting first issue, there are plenty of characters introduced, all of them belonging to Don Vito’s organisation. Though admittedly very few of them survive these twenty-something pages, there’s no denying the effort and detail that has gone into each of them. However that’s something that feels true of every aspect of this book, it’s not just that the city feels real and lived in, it’s that the city feels too lived in. The characters all look like they’ve taken a beating to get to this point.

As a protagonist Jonny still remains much of a mystery, while we know he’s absconded with the cargo he was tasked with liberating, we don’t actually learn what he’s gotten away with. As I’ve mentioned this is the core of the premise for Sweet Downfall but it also does beg the question: what could make the robotic hitman go rogue?

As Sweet Downfall is being released through Scout’s Nonstop! Imprint, there won’t be any more single issues for the series, instead we’ll get the full story in graphic novel form sometime soon. I’m not always a huge fan of single issues so it’s an idea that does appeal to me, though I’m sure it will be frustrating for some readers.

I’d definitely recommend checking out this first issue if you’re into comics with incredibly detailed, almost graffiti like artwork and stories about one man versus the mob, but that one man is a robot.

You can pick up Sweet Downfall #1 from Scout Comics

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