I think AMC has just found themselves a new TV series.
At least, that's what I kept thinking while reading the first issue of Image's Thief of Thieves. The central character, Redmond (a.k.a. Conrad Paulson), is a master thief who seems ready to be portrayed on TV by Mad Men star Jon Hamm...or someone a hell of a lot like him. As we're introduced to Redmond's world, we also meet Celia, his apprentice that he takes on after Celia attempts to boost his car from a shopping center parking lot.
The script by Nick Spencer, apparently working from a storyline from The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman, is structured as if the Ocean's Eleven remake was directed by Quentin Tarantino instead. There's a lot of jumping around in the narrative, leaving things up to the reader to piece various bits of information together to see how the overarching storyline is going to play out. And since this is the first issue, we're left with more questions than answers but with the promise of an enjoyable ride.
Shawn Martinbrough handles the art, taking scenes of mostly conversation and giving them mood and considerable depth. He also adds to the televised feel, drawing most of his panels as if you were watching a recent series shot in hi-def widescreen. His style has developed as well, coming a long way from issues of Action Comics, Detective Comics and JSA Classified into something far more sophisticated and atmospheric.
Overall, Thief of Thieves is a series with a healthy amount of potential. Based on the unexplained prologue at the very beginning and the final scene where Redmond announces he's quitting his society of thieves for as yet unrevealed reasons, there's obviously more to the overall story to be told. If nothing else, though, this first issue was good for informing readers to never store emergency car keys underneath their cars...