UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 by Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Carlos M. Mangual, Curtis King Jr., Michael McCalister, and Alisa Bendis
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Brian Michael Bendis does an amazing job shifting gears to focus on developing the plot of UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3, versus relying heavily on character development. Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma expertly combine their skills for the themes and colors in the comic's art.
97 %
War Time

UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 puts us in the beginning stages of a time of war between the Bonavese family and the United States government. Brian Michael Bendis surprises the reader with a bombshell moment that changes the intensity of the plot and predicts a more action-packed story to come. Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma’s use of art and color remain consistent from UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #2.

Warning, potential spoilers for UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 are below!

The War Begins in UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3

For about a quarter of UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3, Mr. Bloom (AKA the Don), gives an elaborate speech to the Family at the New Jersey headquarters about an inevitable war. The Family executed a hit on either government officials or citizens that support them. So as the Family’s lectured on loyalty, based on the original Bonavese lapel pin, they’re suddenly bombed by overhead drones. As a result of this event, the course of the story changes to one that’s a more intense experience for the reader.

Post-bombing, Valentine Gallo caresses his dying mother as Jagger Rose stares in shock and horror. While Valentine wants to be with his mother at the hospital, the Don and his men take him on a plane to Tokyo, Japan, where Jagger is already stationed. So UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 ends with Valentine and Jagger’s new assignment — killing the President of the United States, who’s currently in Tokyo as well.

UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3
UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Plot Thickens

I’m a fan of how well Brian Michael Bendis has built UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. up to this point. Bendis, so far in the series, has focused heavily on character development. In UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3, he seems to take a break from character development and is really pushing the plot forward so the reader can see what this comic is all about: War. Finally, we see who’s leading the United States and what the Family is up against.

After proper enjoyment and analysis, this reader’s highly anticipating the next installment for a few reasons. The first is simply wanting to see this war progress. Second, there’s still more character development that’s sure to come for the President. Other characters that could use some backstory are the Don and Valentine. We seem to only know surface facts about them, but nothing like we’ve seen with Jagger. The last reason for such high anticipation is the possibility that Valentine may have feelings for Jagger.

A More Powerful Character is Introduced in UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3

Look out world! A female President is in power and she doesn’t back down in a time of crisis! Even though she and the United States are the antagonists, the President is someone the reader can admire. She openly talks about how her predecessors (assuming they’re all men, considering real-life Presidential patterns), cowered in times of crisis. Her prowess is a prime example of a strong woman. She stands up to the Family without fear.

The Art Remains Consistent

Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma keep the art consistent. The strategic planning of color by Soma, as mentioned in previous UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. reviews, remains strong. Oeming does well illustrating various emotions our characters experience and uses close-up panels when appropriate. For example, while the Don’s giving his speech, the reader experiences this kind of ominous and powerful feeling when Oeming places the Don in his own strip with a black background and this stern look on his face. Talk about intimidating and inspiring all in one.

UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3
UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Predictions for UNITED STATES VS MURDER INC #4

The way UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #3 ends leaves this reader feeling as though things are about to get wild. With Jagger and Valentine set to go after the President of the United States, who knows what dangers lie ahead of them? I’m curious if anything might happen romantically with Jagger and Valentine as well. Valentine always seems to be looking out for Jagger not only physically, but on an emotional level too. It might be a long shot, but we’ll see.

So stay tuned for UNITED STATES VS. MURDER INC. #4, coming December 5th!

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