The Hat Squad

I’m not a big fan of Jay Faerber. He’s a good writer, but I can’t stand his Noble Causes, another super-hero comic where the focus is on character interaction rather than fight scenes, and it’s got murder, betrayal, intrigue, humor, and sex. I begin to think that many comics writers imitate Busiek, Miller and Moore only to sell more copies. There are so many new stories out there to narrate!

I read The Hat Squad only because my girlfriend gave it to me as a gift. It was a good idea!

The Hat Squad reminds me of the Bendis’ Torso Graphic Novel. Like the characters of Torso, The Hat Squad exist in real life too. They were a group of four policemen who went to great, often illegal lengths to keep the mob out of L.A., as in Chandler’s LA romances.

A 1950s B-movie starlet approaches the Hat Squad and asks for their help, but they dismiss her concerns. But when she turns up dead not long after their encounter, the case gets personal, and Sgt. Jake Thurman and his men tear through Hollywood looking for the killer. They’ll break bones and split lips to find the truth. They’re the kind of police officers, who though honest to a fault, may arreste someone out of principle like Elliot Ness (one of the real characters of Torso) did.

Jay Faerber is very good at characterizing the personalities of the characters, from the guilt-ridden leader Jake to the new guy Danny. The mystery of who killed Sheila provides an interesting plot.

The influence of Curt Swan is evident on Yonge’s work. The art is presented in black and white with a attention to detail and anatomy, Yonge tends not to use heavy inks to achieve the atmosphere. Each panel is perfect.

Prepare to read hardboiled dialogue!

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