Comic Review – Sheriff of Babylon #3

  • Writer: Tom King
  • Art: Mitch Gerads
  • Letters: Nick Napolitano
  • Publisher: Vertigo Comics
  • Release Date: February 3, 2016

A good comic book issue leaves you staring at the last page with disbelief in your eyes. It leaves you untethered, shaken by the fact that your expectations (and likely, a character’s head) are about to explode all over the first page of the very next issue.

Sheriff of Babylon #3 is good because I expected absolutely none of what happened. Every single issue I’ve read so far leaves me amazed because I’ve never been a huge political thriller person, but Tom King and Mitch Gerads have almost managed to convert me. Last month in my review of Sheriff of Babylon #2, I found myself swooning over Sofia and marveling at the way that Tom King and Mitch Gerads portray the realistic violence and turmoil of post-9/11 Baghdad.

This week, I’m still in love with Sofia. Obviously.

Because she’s perfect.

SHERIFF OF BABYLON #3 cover by John Paul Leon
SHERIFF OF BABYLON #3 cover by John Paul Leon

She’s also front and center on this month’s cover and it is glorious. As far as covers go, the one for Sheriff of Babylon #3 is super simple. It shows Sofia having a quiet moment with her maid, drinking tea in her bedroom as the other woman does her hair.

However, there’s a lot that you can read into the scene. Sofia and her maid look serious with Sofia looking more introspective than worried. We’ve seen that Sofia is largely beloved by the people who work for her and that she has a knack for making these connections with people that allow her to manipulate them. (Hell, she’s clearly manipulating Chris in all of their interactions.)  I’m always invested in relationships between women though and I don’t know –

There’s something about the quiet intimacy of the cover that I just love.

Speaking of Chris… This issue, we see that his trainee officers have closed ranks. When he asks them if they knew anything about Ali Al Fahar, the trainee who was murdered and whose family was also killed shortly afterwards, they clam up. They lie. Because silence is safer.

I love that Chris is super dedicated to finding out the truth. He could absolutely decide to ignore everything, to play ignorant of the politics that undoubtedly got Ali Al Fahar killed, but he doesn’t. And in a world where people just don’t care, it’s a little bit refreshing.

Now, let’s talk about the moments that really made Sheriff of Babylon #3 for me.

First, the Sofia centric one. It involves a rocket launcher and Sofia not noticing that something’s up until it’s too late. This issue, we don’t know what’s going to happen to her, but it absolutely can’t be anything good because we’re left with the image of her car, upturned and on fire in the middle of the street. It’s something that I’m worried she won’t survive.

Next, we have Nassir’s introduction to a mysterious man working against the American invasion of Baghdad (under the name of bringing peace). About midway through the issue, Nassir and his wife had been interrupted at home by a man who insisted on Nassir leaving with him. The next time we see Nassir though, he’s bound and blindfolded in a chair alone with a man who definitely disapproves of the things he’s been doing in the time following his work as one of Saddam Hussein’s doctors.

That’s not the shocker though. That comes after their conversation at the end of the issue where we get a full page panel of the mysterious man aiming a gun at the reader and (presumably) Nassir.

Talk about a cliffhanger. I’m already chomping at the bit over next month’s issue because once again, I find myself needing to know what comes next.

Seriously, Sheriff of Babylon #3 was just amazing. Every issue pulls you deeper into the mystery. I think that Tom King and Mitch Gerads definitely should count as one of comics’ great teams because you can see the labor and research gone into every single panel and it’s wonderful. Seriously, if you’re a political thriller fan or you just like comics about (relatively) current events, you need to be reading Sheriff of Babylon.

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About the author

Zina Hutton

writes about comics, nerd history, and ridiculous romance novels when not working frantically on her first collection of short stories.

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