Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets Answers This Real-World Mystery


  • The Trust is a villainous organization in 100 Bullets that gained power through a mysterious real-life event.
  • Agent Graves and the Minutemen seek revenge on the Trust for betraying them.
  • The Trust’s origins date back to the New World and the Roanoke settlement, where they aimed to establish control and wealth without the responsibilities of government.



The villainous organization at the center DC/Vertigo’s 100 Bullets known as the Trust cemented its power through a real-life event that remains a mystery to this day. The primary focus of the mega-series is on the violent, blood-soaked efforts of Agent Graves and the Minutemen to exact revenge for their sacking by the Trust. Despite their importance to the story, however, details about the Trust remain murky and unclear for most of the first half of the saga. While the mystery surrounding the Trust adds an interesting element to the overall storyline, it also adds a degree of confusion to an already complicated plot. Fortunately, at the midway point of the story, the creators provide an essential and interesting revelation about the Trust that brings to life some of the questions surrounding its purpose.

Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s award-winning opus 100 Bullets ostensibly tells the story of a handful of people suddenly given the chance to get payback on the people who “did them dirty” in the past. That chance is offered by the mysterious Agent Graves, a mysterious figure who appears out of nowhere in the chosen few’s lives to offer them the ultimate retribution.

Feature Image: 100 Bullets, Agent Graves sitting in front of a sniper crosshairs

Soon enough, however, the reader learns that Graves is no “Good Samaritan,” but rather a Palpatine-esque mastermind. The selection of people he chooses to exact revenge fit into his ultimate goal of bringing down the Trust, an all-powerful, shadowy organization who once employed Graves and his team of “above the law” killers to do their bidding.


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As revealed in 100 Bullets #50, the Trust is not just a standard criminal cabal. Its history goes back to the earliest days of the country before it was a nation. Its membership included 13 of the most powerful families in ancient Europe – families who were not royalty but rather facilitated the royal houses of Europe to maintain and expand their control. But with the discovery of the New World, the Trust saw a golden opportunity. Tired of their “back bench” status in Europe but cognizant of the troubles and responsibilities that being “the government” entailed, the 13 families came upon the idea of starting over in the New World. They saw the New World as a place where they could remake a world in their own image. They wanted it to operate with them in absolute control of the wealth it generated and the behind-the-scenes influence and prestige that God-level wealth commanded.

The Trust saw the New World as the means to have the power of European royalty without the trappings and responsibilities of actually running a government. Unfortunately, England also saw the benefit of accessing the gold and glory that came from owning its own piece of the New World. Consequently, it refused to accept the Trust’s proposal by greenlighting the establishment of a colony on Roanoke Island. In real history, the colonists at Roanoke disappeared around 1590, and the reasons for this disappearance are still debated by historians to this day. In 100 Bullets, it’s revealed that the Trust organized the Minutemen to impress upon the British Crown and other European royalty that the New World belonged to the Trust. They underscored this point with the slaughter of the Roanoke colony.


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100 Bullets_The First Trust Group

As the Trust saw it, the New World was dripping with the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to rewrite their script from the beginning without interference from their royal clients, the politics of governments, or the idiosyncracies of a society that was beyond their control. To actualize this goal, the 13 families offered to give up their possession, status, and influence in Europe for a free hand of all “unclaimed territories” in the New World.

After their slaughter of the Roanoke colony, an event history books inaccurately surmise was due to a disease outbreak or an attack by Native American tribes, the Minutemen carved the words “Croatoan” into a wooden post in the settlement. To this day, the meaning of the word remains a mystery to most of the world. But to the powers that be in Europe – its message is crystal clear. Indeed, as 100 Bullets reveals, the destruction of the Roanoke colony by the Trust was the catalyst for the establishment of the “American Crimeocracy” that we are living in today.


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