Comics: Normandy Gold - Reviewed

We review the crime thriller Normandy Gold 

New from Titan Comics and part of their Hard Case Crime label, the crime graphic novel Normandy Gold is an intense and unflinchingly realistic take on vigilantes, exploitation, and political corruption films of the ‘70s. Featuring a dark and unsettling world of violence and corruption, a cinematic feel to the visual and storytelling elements, and and one of the most brutal and badass female protagonists to grace a comic page, this is essential reading for fans of crime fiction.

Written by best-selling crime authors Megan Abbott (You Will Know Me, HBO’s The Deuce) & Alison Gaylin (What Remains Of Me), the story follows Normandy Gold, a sheriff from Oregon, who goes to Washington D.C. seeking to find and kill the people responsible for her sister’s murder. Willing to do anything to uncover the mystery, she assimilates herself into a world of high-prostitution, secret-sex clubs, dirty politicians, political corruption, and murder. Abbott and Gaylin have crafted a story that resembles many of the political thrillers and vengeance films from the ‘70s, such as The Parallax View, Coffy, Pretty Baby, Dressed to Kill, and All the President's Men, with the major difference being that the main character is a woman, which frankly just makes this story that much better. Normandy Gold isn’t just any woman. She's the female equivalent of Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson from Death Wish, whose unusual and rough upbringing seemingly prepared her to go on a vigilante manhunt. With a nihilistic rage and a really big knife, Normandy is willing to screw, torture, and kill until she either gets the information that she’s looking for or has eliminated everyone responsible. She’s so consumed with anger and rage that any type of formal police work is thrown out the window and left to Detective Paul Sturges, the only person willing to help her.

The art from Steve Scott (Batman, X-Men Forever, JLA) and Rodney Ramos (Batman, Green Lantern) has a realistic and cinematic look to it, with panels and pages that could have been pulled from classic thrillers. There is a great deal of line work and cross-hatching, as well as heavily shadowed characters. The attention to era-specific details is apparent, from the environments to the clothing, it is obvious that they made sure to extensively research the decade. Depending on your film knowledge, you may notice that many of the main characters resemble actors from then and now, having been selected by the writers as a sort of fan casting. The colors and digital shading from Lovern Kindzierski add an extra level of depth to the characters and their environments, making them a little more realistic.

Normandy Gold is a must read for fans of extremely dark and gritty crime thrillers, offering up a story that isn’t afraid to seek out the nasty underbed of society. With an excellent tale of political corruption and vigilante justice, and a tough and well crafted female protagonist, this is one not to miss. Normandy is the type of character that we could all do with seeing more of.