100 Bullets: Brother Lono 7

For the last-but-one time.

For reasons unknown, issue 7 – “El Inferno Llega del Casa” (The Inferno Comes Home) – was held over through December and only now appears, taking us to the edge. Yet, even with the threads wrapping so tightly, Azzarello and Risso have room yet for more than undiluted story, as Lono patiently undergoes torture, a still centre, not answering questions that are deliberately not asked. For every physical torture there is a mental one, a constant reminder that everything that goes on in that hot little room will be reflected outwards upon others, who will suffer simply because the Dog has come there.

Around, outside, the ants scurry. Maddon pulls out of the deal, because of the mention of the DEA. Cortez calmly listens to Father Manny’s abject pleading, knowing that it puts the good Father entirely in his control, incapable of any future resistance. Sister June goes in pursuit, carrying her gun, driven by the one-armed Paolo: despite his cynical. pragmatic warning, she intends to contact the Sheriff, enlist his aid.

But things are already too late. The Sheriff is dead, strung up from an underpass where his car is parked, and Sister June faces an ambush, from which she is saved by Paolo, driving the truck to kill the three gunman. But Paolo dies.

And Manny looks into a private cupboard and sees something, an abomination, that changes everything. We don’t see for ourselves, but it is enough for Cortez to string him up, in the desert, above the wolves. For what Manny has seen is Cortez’s twin: an explanation in part for that strange, twisted, pickled baby we saw earlier in the series.

And, as I intuited in response to issue 2, together, Cortez and his ‘twin’ are Los Torres Gemales, who control the drug-trade.

Finally, Lono moves. His torturer has ripped off a fingenail, has rubbed a cut chili into his eye, and jabbed directly into his chest a Police badge which tells Lono what has been going on without, but when he produces a burner, set to assault Lono with fire, then the Dog reacts. And Hell comes home.

One final chapter.

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