Title: Slots #4
Words: Dan Panosian
Art: Dan Panosian
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Publication Date: January 10, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “With a deadbeat dad and a cruel stepfather, a boy named Lucy grew up quick and grew up mean…to everyone but a girl named Mercy.”
The seductions and cruelties of Sin City are never more apparent than in this installment. The fix in in, the Dance boys may have run out of luck, and Mercy may start to rely on the kindness of strange men. All they players have joined the game, the sides chosen (it seems), and the moves are being made.
As much as it looks like Panosian is telegraphing his punches, each issue adds layers to the story and complexity to the characters. As much success he allows Stan to have, we’re all waiting for the shoe to drop, but that’s just fine. The hapless pugilist is so dynamic, he deserves to be rooted for.
Panosian channels the look and feel of an earlier time to provoke a darling seediness to an anachronistic anti-hero. Of scene and person, the art is a wonder of gruesome and sleaze that holds a fascinating beauty. Like a traffic accident it is impossible to look away.
Slots is a narrative from another era. Dashiell Hammett or Elmore Leonard gave us earlier versions of this demi monde, but Panosian can go toe to toe with them with this gritty spectacle. There is always something interesting to find in the dark corners of humanity and Slots makes us look, and we are the better for it.