REVIEW: ‘Bullet’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bullet - But Why Tho

Bullet is a Kickstarter project by the indie label Altruist Comics. Story by Randy Stone and Jordan Alsaqa. The art and colours are by Kath Lobo. The letterer is Lucas Gattoni. Bullet is a celebration of silver age comic book stories. An older man, Dale DeSouza, is searching for memoirs in his home when he comes across a superhero suit. What follows is a flashback into the life of a now younger man in the 60s. The college student takes part in experiments and develops the power of super speed. He uses these powers for good as the hero Bullet, battling evil and saving lives.

From a first glance, this comic and its plot may be a simple tribute to classic comics. A young man becoming a superhero in this fashion is straight out of the pages of the Flash or Spider-Man. This eagerness to embrace nostalgia continues throughout the first half of the comic. But Stone and Alsaqa have a story that is filled with much more depth from that. There is a powerful emotional core within Bullet that hinges on love and positivity. There is fantastic pacing and structure, with the full story being told within this single issue. But we are given enough time to absorb the brilliant atmosphere and the scenes singing with delight. This is an action-packed comic that hints at a much bigger world full of characters that the reader wants to see more of. There is also more than one superb and heartbreaking twist that will switch the readers’ emotions on the flip of a coin.

The characters within Bullet are golden and instantly likable. The concept of the protagonist is a unique one as we seem to begin the comic at the end of his story. When we first meet Dale, he is old, stiff, and frail. But his younger self is lively, brave, and charming. Even his origin is a subversion of the stereotypical silver age genesis of a superhero. Having the comic be a flashback gives these stories a sentimental feel.

The love interest of the comic is Joanna, a loving and kind member of the team tasked with testing Dale’s abilities. The relationship detailed in these pages is adorable and affectionate, with some poignant moments. Stone and Alsaqa embrace the classic aspect of the characters with a modern sensibility, blending the eras wonderfully. 

The art is fantastic. The style is perfect for the positive nature of the comic. Lobo draws very emotive faces, with large, expressive eyes. The longing looks of love Joanna and Dale give each other capture the heart of the reader. The varying line weights help portray descriptive body language, especially in those awkward moments after a date between the young lovers. The design of Bullet’s costume is simple but effective, matching the world that he’s in. But he isn’t the only sci-fi element that seems to plague this planet. All of the monsters, villains, and robbers that the young hero faces look like awesome tributes to the Silver Age.

The colours are stunning. The tones are warm but not overpowering. The blue and yellow of the protagonist’s uniform provides him with a distinct and unique palette. The backgrounds are often single-tone or are a lighter shade than what is in the foreground to prevent distractions.

The lettering is dynamic and powerful. There are some typefaces and SFX that work well within the 60s style, adding liveliness to the text.

Bullet is an affectionate Silver Age homage with present-day adjustments. At no point cynical, Stone and Alqasa celebrate the genre and the era the comic lives in. But this is a story that lives on its own, with an excellent heart that is visible on every single page. The main characters shine, the action excels, and the art is lovely.

The Kickstarter page for Bullet is live and available here.

Bullet
5

TL;DR

Bullet is an affectionate Silver Age homage with present-day adjustments. At no point cynical, Stone and Alqasa celebrate the genre and the era the comic lives in. But this is a story that lives on its own, with an excellent heart that is visible on every single page. The main characters shine, the action excels, and the art is lovely.