REVIEW: ‘Bang!,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bang! 2 Cover

Bang! #2 is published by Dark Horse Comics, with a story from Matt Kindt and features art from Wilfredo Torres. The colors are by Nayoung Kim and the lettering is by Nate Piekos from Blambot.

In Bang! #2 John Shaw is on a train headed toward Los Angeles. While on the train he is conversing with a man that informs him that he has read about his novelized adventures and they discuss the reasons for why John walks around barefoot. Aside from this, we get some more informative exposition about John, such as the fact that he usually carries three vials with him of synthetic drugs. Each vial affects John in  a different way.  One can enhance his senses, the other gives him extra strength and the last one gives him super intelligence.  As John explains this he finds that he has to save the day, when their train is attacked by agents from Gold Maze, a terrorist organization.

If Bang! #2 sounds strange, that is because so far it is. You might not be able to tell from the summary, but if you see the art you will notice that John Shaw vaguely resembles John McClane from the Die Hard movie franchise. As we know, at least in the first film, McClane spent most of that movie running around barefoot. What does that have to do with anything? Well, it has to do with what Matt Kindt is doing with this series. In the last issue, readers were introduced to Thomas Cord, a super spy like James Bond 007. So far, the thing that connects both Cord and Shaw is Phillip Verve, a science fiction writer that has novelized their adventures and apparently hops around through realities. It appears that Philip is trying to recruit all of the real-life action and adventure heroes he has written about so they can team up to take down the Gold Maze organization.

I am not sure what Kindt is going to do with these characters other than what has been stated in the story, and so far it is trippy. But with Verve claiming to write the adventures of the same characters he’s recruiting, I imagine this series is going to get stranger as it goes along. I like what Kindt is doing so far because you might not recognize the characters right away, but he’s taking characters straight out of American action films. But he’s also adding something to them, for example as mentioned, John Shaw inhales synthetic drugs when needed to save the day, but claims they aren’t addictive.

I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of Wilfredo Torres’ art. His pencils just look too loose. But I have to give credit where it is due, because as I mentioned earlier he drew a character that clearly resembled John McClane. I could spot it right away due to the scruffy facial hair, the short unkempt hair and the withered appearance of his face.

Bang! #2 panel

Torres does transition the action from one panel to the next very well, but what really stands out for me are the first three panels on page nine (above). On those panels I like how Torres shows, Shaw using his hands as he’s talking with the other man on the train. In the first panel, Shaw is rubbing his forehead, in panel two his hands are lowered while talking for a moment, but then on panel three, he’s partially rubbing his eye with his thumb while the rest of his fingers touch/rub his forehead again. I have not often seen an artist do something like this with characters, but I liked it a lot because it again reminded me of the Die Hard character that appeared to be perpetually hungover and having to rub his forehead to get some relief from a hangover induced headache. That being said, my criticism of the art is just personal taste, and shouldn’t deter anyone from reading the issue.

It’s a good story so far, but I can see how some people can be turned off by it, especially if they are confused about what is happening and are not patient with what the creative team is trying to do. That being said, Kindt and Torres are crafting an interesting story with facsimiles of characters from American action movies and I want to see exactly what is going to be done with them. This strange story is worth a read.

Bang! #2 is available where comics are sold.

Bang! #2
3.5

TL;DR

It’s a good story so far, but I can see how some people can be turned off by it, especially if they are confused about what is happening and are not patient with what the creative team is trying to do. That being said, Kindt and Torres are crafting an interesting story with facsimiles of characters from American action movies and I want to see exactly what is going to be done with them. This strange story is worth a read.