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New York, 1950. Slick, gangster, ex-amateur boxer, gambler, back from the war, robs a jewelry store. The heist goes wrong and Slick ends up owing a whole lot of dough to Rex, his “employer”. Rex proposes a job so Slick can reimburse him, but Slick refuses. Rex sends his thugs to eliminate him.
Ray, a cop and childhood friend of Slick, asks him to deliver Rex. Rex intends on marrying Caprice, a prostitute that he got out of a jam and who in turn belongs to him for life. Rex has made her a star: she’s a burlesque dancer in his nightclub, the Rex. But Caprice and Slick are together again… they’d been in love before Slick went off to war. Rex figures out that she’s back with Slick and asks her where’s he’s hiding. She coughs up his hideout and Rex’s men snatch Slick. Ray, however, sees it all.
Rex offers Slick the opportunity to get vengeance on one of his competitors, Don Zizzi, the man who killed Slick’s father and forced his mother into prostitution. Slick has to steal Zizzi’s prized possession: a portrait of his mother–by Picasso.
Dark Burlesque is Enrico Marini’s first graphic novel. In a somber atmosphere inspired by film noir of the 1950s, violence, treachery, crime and jealousy are omnipresent. Not to mention femmes fatales and a sensuous atmosphere…