Who done it? The classic theme and or question of any thrilling murder mystery. In 2019 alone there was at least 4 major motion pictures released all incorporating this very theme. Law and Order (and all it’s variations) is on almost every cable channel running all day long. If you are a fan of Dick Wolf’s incredible crime franchise, then you are in luck, however, if you’re not a fan, then you are in a constant living hell. Either way, there is a reason as to why this style of film or story telling is so popular. We all want to feel like a Sherlock Holmes and have the ability to solve any mystery. So when you have a “juicy” story in your hands, trying to find clues and solve the big unknown is a very natural instinct or reaction to have while reading.
New York City in 1980, an era that is very different to what you think of when you hear “NYC” today. 42th street was not the financial powerhouse we love to visit, and walking the streets at night was truly at your own risk. Deadly Burlesque is a comic book series that captures the very essence of this time in history. No street cameras, or CSI available to help find closure to any unsolved murder, so crime was still at an all-time high. We find our characters all working their respective late night shifts within a sleazy, seedy, shady, and dingy dump of a House of Burlesque or your traditional Cabaret. Among the employees, are a few disgruntled individuals, who each have chips on their shoulders for different reasons. This is the perfect recipe for murder and finger pointing. There is no wasted time in this story as the bodies begin to immediately pile up.
As always in the case of these classic tales, the person that you think is guilty is usually the most innocent. This comic book will keep you guessing from start to finish. Its not just about the killing, it’s the “how” they are being murdered that makes this series so much more entertaining. In this one book, you have multiple plot twists that will keep you confused until the actual Killer finally makes their big reveal.
What I love most about Deadly Burlesque is the fact that the creators took the time to really detail what living in New York in the 80’s is like. I am from NY and grew up in the 80’s, so I can verify that this team at Freaktown Comics did a great job. They even went at a far as to lay out a small soundtrack for this comic book, via the music of Donna Summer and The Ramones. I don’t care so much for the TV series Law and Order, but this story would make for a perfect must watch popular episode for that particular show. I had a big smile at the end of reading this issue, because it had a great ending to a great story. If you enjoy any form of Murder Mystery, you will love this comic book, and hope to see more just like this.
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Deadly Burlesque – (One-Shot)
Written by: Russell Hillman
Art and Colors by: Daniel Bell
Letters by: Sergio Calvet
Reviewer: Adrian Richardson
Summary: The Bowery, Lower Manhattan, 1980. The New York burlesque scene has faded away, replaced by strip joints, peep shows and porno palaces. One small club of indomitable performers – the Luxury Lounge – still holds out against the tide. The art of burlesque is dying. For one person, it isn’t dying fast enough. As the bodies pile up, so do the suspects – could the killer be desperate club owner Mr Barnett? Cantankerous juggler The Amazing Ralph? Stale stand-up comic Martin Stevens? A performer can die onstage a thousand times. Offstage, once is enough.