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Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins

By Munawar Mobin

This week, we take a break from costumed superhero comics to take a look into the wondrous world of noir. The 'Road to Perdition' is a graphic novel which yours truly acquired on a hunch, and after reading it, has come to the conclusion that he should rely on his hunches more often.

The book is a story narrated by Mike O'Sullivan, and it tells the tale of a family betrayed and a man dishonoured in the early 1930s. Mike's story starts off when he climbs onto the back of his father's car, as a dare from his brother, in order to see what his father did for a living. Mike's father, Michael O'Sullivan was a soldier of the First World War and in recent times he became an agent for a criminal syndicate: the Looney family. Mike catches his father in the middle of a deal gone wrong and he understands why people call his dad the Looney's “Archangel of Death”.

The father catches his son watching him and old man Looney's son and makes him promise to never talk. Son of the Looney family, Conor Looney decides that the son cannot be trusted. They send Michael on a suicide mission and send gunmen to kill his family. Conor Looney mistakes the elder son as Mike and kills both the brother and his mother. The Archangel of Death stays true to his namesake, sniffs betrayal and makes it out alive. From that moment on, the whole novel is about how Michael goes about getting revenge with his little son by his side.

The book is like any other noir book: dark story, lots of blood and well written dialogue. What really sets it apart is the religious factor, which is every time Michael kills, he gets his son to a safe place and then heads for the nearest church to confess his sins. What's more is that the theme stays true till the very end of the book and contributes to the great ending. A must read for comic book lovers.

Also, the movie came out in 2002 starring Tom Hanks as Michael and Daniel Craig as Conor, if you get a chance check that out too. However, always remember, books before films.

Last week our topic was Conscience. Writers finally decided to branch out a little with their stories, which was nice to read. The story below is, well, why don't you guys tell us what it is about and what you thought of it, instead of us doing that? For next week, our topic will be: To the jetpack. Have fun with it. Submissions need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.


By Muhammad Nazmus Sakib

It seems to be an ingrained savoir faire that reminds me of a blurry past, images nagging at my conscious. I feel like I have walked through this road many times, but I can't recall what exactly this place has to do with me. The place is so crowded, yet I can't get out of the quiet that is weaved into the surroundings.

People are walking, strolling through life. Some people are gathered in a tea stall, staring at me and somehow they seem disappointed with me. But I don't know what it is. I ignore them, telling myself to cool down. I try to console myself. They know not what they do.

I see a young girl holding some flowers in her hands approaching me. She gives me a smile and I smile back. I feel a little relieved, getting company that does not does not look condescending. She asks me to buy one of her flowers. I check my pockets and find them empty. I tell her I don't have any money. Her smile fades. She leaves me. It hits me like a sucker punch, her leaving. I feel terrible. Or maybe just disappointed. I ignore her too. Conscience clear.

I walk forward, wondering what is ahead of me. I see a middle aged woman standing at a bus stand. I wonder why she has caught my attention. Do I know her? She turns her face towards me and gives me a look that suggests she is relieved to see me. I get close to her. A bus stops and she holds my hand. We take seats. She leans her head on my shoulder. I don't know what to say. I wonder if she will feel awkward if I ask her who she is and why I am here.

I am puzzled. I don't know where this bus is taking us. I look through the window. Everything seems so old but strangely familiar. Then suddenly she whispers, “Everything has changed.” I wonder what that means.

The bus stops. She takes me to an open field, maybe a park where many children are playing. We sit on a bench. She is observing me, searching for something in my expressions. I try to look her in the eyes but fail. A little boy comes to her. She takes him in her lap. I look at that boy and somehow I feel I have some connection with him.

I fall prey to deep thoughts.



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