You might remember a while back I did an interview with Andrez Bergen on his maxi-series Bullet Gal (get all that information here), Andrez was kind enough to send me the series so far and I’ve had a great time reading through them. The whole series has been incredibly enjoyable to me, full of humour and meta references I don’t usually associate with the noir genre. With the launch of the newest issue at the end of this month I felt now was a good time to give my thoughts on the series by reviewing the latest issue.
This is a much more traditional issue of Bullet Gal than last time, #7 had numerous mind bending twists and a very meta origin for the city of Heropa. While I was a little disappointed this story wasn’t continued (as I got really interested in that and didn’t expect the story to go that way) a traditional issue of Bullet Gal is still a pretty unconventional thing and full of entertainment value.
The story this issue follows new character Bob Khan, a regular cop who has to clean up in a city populated with superheroes. It’s a return to a more grounded, noir story than some of the more crazy heights the book has reached, but Andrez makes sure to inject as much of his personality as possible into the tale to make it anything but traditional. Andrez has a great talent for making the book feel like a comfortable old noir story yet still points out clichés and tropes enough that you realise it’s its own entity. The back and forth between Bob and his partner Irv in particular showcase Andrez’s comedic talents, Irv’s suggestions that Bob invest in “monoculars” in particular evoked some audible chuckles.
Of course, the biggest draw for any issue of Bullet Gal is Andrez’s unique photographic art style. It’s truly the stand-out feature every issue and is what grabs my attention first every issue. I can be a bit of a double edge sword at times however, while it is certainly unique sometimes Andrez is limited by what the images he has which can often lead to some confusion in what’s actually happening in the issue. While this issue is one of the better laid out issues, having a greatly cinematic style and laid out in such a way that the story is easier to follow, it can still be a little confusing at times. For the most part though, the comic still looks magnificent and never misses a moment to give a wink and nod to some famous images (one of my favourite video-game characters was actually a photo-reference this issue, but I won’t spoil it). I’ve used some of the images throughout this review, so you can decide yourself if it’s for you.
Other than that, my only other real issue was with how quickly this issue flew by. It felt just as I’d came to like these new characters that the story was over, with only a few advancements made to the main plot. It’s a little disappointing, but there’s still four issues to go before the big finale so I’m confident Andrez knows what he’s doing and is just pacing things out before we get to the conclusion.
Despite these minor grievances this series is still one I’d highly recommend to anyone looking for something a different. It works really well as a series, and at this point I’m really excited to see how it all turns out. You can find the newest issue on the IF? COMMIX website here, with the graphic novel of the whole series coming out soon following a successful kickstarter.