GRAPHIC NOVELS

BANG!

Dark Horse. Dec. 2020. 152p. ISBN 9781506716169. pap. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. sf
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Kindt (Ether. Vol. 3: The Disappearance of Violet Bell) and Torres (Quantum Age) channel Ian Fleming by way of Philip K. Dick in this action-packed celebration of pulp fiction and sf. Debonair superspy Thomas Cord’s latest mission: locate Philip Verge, an eccentric sf author whose eerily prophetic novels may hold the key to defeating Goldmaze, a global criminal organization. The closer Cord comes to catching up with his quarry, the more he’s bedeviled by impossible memories of past lives, loves, and adventures; stranger still, Verge claims to possess the ability to travel across alternate realities, and that the only way to save the world is to recruit the leads of his various adventure novels. Enter John Shaw, a barrel-chested everyman with a penchant for finding himself at the scene of hijackings and terrorist attacks; hi-tech heroine Michele Queen and her sentient car, Baby B.O.I.; and octogenarian Paige Turner, the world’s greatest detective.
VERDICT While comics featuring casts consisting of characters crafted to pay homage to classic pulp adventure heroes aren’t exactly rare, few exude the genuine affection for the genre and originality displayed on every page of this twisty, consistently surprising romp.

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