The Kitchen #3 (Comics Review)

Vertigo’s The Kitchen was one of my top 25 picks of the best new comics series to come out last year and with good reason too. Where Ollie Masters really captured the narrative feel of ’60s New York in the tale of three women making their own way after the arrest of their husbands, criminals all of them, artists Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire did the same with their amazing art, which pretty much perfectly captured the visual feel of the same. The first two issues have done a lot to flesh out this budding story, and it seems the team is still going all-guns-out.

The Kitchen #3 from last Wednesday furthers the story of Kath, Raven and Angie, picking up from the previous issue, at the end of which the women murdered a man who was trying to blackmail them. At the same time, one of their old friends, or rather a friend of their husbands’, is back in town and he joins up with them, leading to some really brutal scenes later on. As great as the previous two issues were, I think this one was even better. There’s something really compelling about how these three women are taking over their husbands’ businesses, and the art is pitch-perfect.

If there’s one thing that Kath, Raven and Angie lack, it is direct on-hands experience. They grew up in crime families, so they know how the world works, but they’ve never been an active part of it. That led to some shmuck trying to blackmail them back in the second issue, and putting them in a really tough spot, but then they went ahead and killed him anyway. There’s a streak of brutality in each of them, going back to their upbringing and their experiences with the world around them, and that’s what Ollie Masters focuses on so much, to show that these aren’t dainty suburban housewives, but three really tough women who can handle their own business.

And then there’s Tommy, recently out-of-jail and looking for work, kind of. He helps Kath, Raven and Angie dispose of the shmuck’s body, and then starts working with them, handling some of the things they can’t do, or don’t particularly want to do, since he knows intimately how everything works and it is supposed to work. His inclusion to the story adds in a new perspective that ultimately goes to inform how the main characters behave later on in the issue, and that’s where Ollie Masters really hits the mark.

Because you see, Raven gets a visit from another mobster, and this one has… quite the offer for the girls, shall we say. This really throws things off-kilter and here Ollie Masters shows that there’s no holding back with the story. There will be lots of twists and plots that come and go, and each of them is going to have a big influence on the main cast, especially now that they are pretty much rising stars of Hell’s Kitchen, having almost completely taken over the loan-shark business in the neighbourhood.

Now that’s some fantastic stuff right there.

I find that I’m enjoying this series much more than I’d expected. Kath, Raven and Angie are wonderful characters on their own and now they are supported by two of the craziest mobster characters I’ve read to date, and it creates some really fun dynamics between all of them. The girls enjoy the fruits of their labours and the distasteful things they have to do. Tommy does most of the dirty work for them. And Tony has some interesting proposals for them that might end up giving them all a further leg-work in the mob-world.

Ming is the artist here, with Jordie Bellaire on colours, Clem Robins on letters and Becky Cloonan on the cover. Superb artwork once again. The inclusion of Tommy means that things take a rather brutal turn, and the opening pages definitely make that plain, especially when Tommy just straight up kills the blackmailer Nicky by shooting him in the face and then cuts his body up into little pieces to dispose of his corpse without a trace. Chilling indeed and the expression on Tommy’s face definitely sells it as well. Even in the other pages, the art and the colours are always great, and I had a blast flipping through the issue.

Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Rating: 9/10

More The Kitchen: #1, #2.

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Posted on January 26, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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