Road to Perdition


Release Date: 2002
Director: Sam Mendes
Running Time: 116 minutes
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stanley Tuci, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law
Comic Artist: Richard Piers Raynor (art), Max Allan Collins (text)
First Appearance: Road to Perdition (1998)


Published by Paradox Press (D.C comics) in 1998, Road to Perdition was authored by crime writer Max Allan Collins, who also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip since 1977 when Chester Gould stepped down. The book is based on a true story that Collins had unearthed whilst researching a crime novel, and he thought it worthwhile to pursue.

However, it is the superb artwork of English born artist Richard Piers Rayner that makes Road to Perdition such a great read. Rayner has worked for both D.C. and Marvel since 1988, working on such series as Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, L.E.G.I.O.N., Dr. Fate and Dr. Who. Road to Perdition took Rayner four years to complete - a labour of love that shows.

Hanks was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.


This solemn, rain-washed period gangster film based on a graphic novel is a cool but stately work that achieves the grandeur of a classic Hollywood western. An exploration of father-son relationships viewed largely through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, it follows the fugitive journey of Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), a hit man for the mob outside Chicago, who flees the wrath of the middle-level boss (Paul Newman) who is also his surrogate father. Filled with memorable tableaus, the movie is a serious picture show whose cinematography by Conrad L. Hall lends every frame an Edward Hopper-like mood. Mr. Newman (with an Irish brogue) steals the movie as Rooney, the mob boss faced with agonizing life-and-death choices. Mr. Hanks holds his own as the movie's enigmatic antihero on a vengeful mission: a killer-for-hire with a social conscience and a devotion to his young son.

© Stephen Holden , The New York Time

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