Torso is a "true crime graphic novel" based
on the true story of Eliot Ness's attempts to catch the famous "torso
killer" in Cleveland in 1939. Ness, of course, is known from The
Untouchables, and this takes place after those adventures.
This is a great companion piece to Bendis's Powers.
The artistic similarities demonstrate how much of the design of a book
is based on the ideas and mood established by the writer. Though many
of the storytelling techniques are similar to Powers, Torso is
grittier and establishes more psychological tension. Andreyko uses an
impressive but subtle amalgamation of shadow-based brushwork, bits of
photographs and newspaper clippings, and computer effects to create a
distinctly stylized world. Bendis's dialogue and characterization is
dead-on as always.
However, because Bendis follows the true accounts as
closely as possible, the culmination of the story is anticlimactic and
dissapointing. Luckily, the trip there is a feast of insights into the
characters and distinct culture of the time. Bendis's and Andreyko's
graphic storytelling experiments also make the book more than just worthwhile.
The graphic novel is assembled nicely and also includes
an appendix of many of the actual photographs and pieces of evidence
from the case.