Wednesday, June 27, 2007

100 Bullets

A couple weeks ago, my friend Steve lent me his collection of 100 Bullets trade paperbacks, and I've been reading one every couple days. The third volume, Hang Up on the Hang Low, is based around the story of a Philadelphia thug first seeking to avenge himself on, and later forging a relationship with, his absentee father. It explores some pretty interesting themes about fatherhood, loyalty, responsibility, and what it means to be an adult.

In the story, the appreciation of baseball features pretty prominently as emblematic of the broader generation gap between the protagonist and his father. Meeting his son as an adult, the father very early invites him to a Phillies game, and then calls his son's lack of interest "un-American," an opinion later echoed by the father's employer. Race relations and class differences are recurring themes in these books, and the father and son's differing preferences in athletics are further used to show how they choose to identify themselves. The final baseball-related plot point has the protagonist completing his journey by literally following in his father's footsteps as a freshly minted baseball fan. Not incredibly deep, but hey, it's a comic book.

I don't really have much to say about it, but I thought it was neat. And I do recommend the series.

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