Mr. Mash-Up Issue #0 divides itself into three stories. The first, “Voodoo Trespass,” is told from the point of view of Cabra Cini, the Voodoo hit woman. Hired by the family of a murdered daughter, Cabra must cross The Infinity void to find the killer. What she doesn’t count on is her own dark past confronting her along the way. The ruler of The Infinity, the Rook, has hired Mash-Up to stop her with the clone of her deceased former pimp and boyfriend. Unfortunately, no one told Mash-Up that even for a demon, hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn . . .
The second story, “Return of the Prodigal #!%*,” shows Mash-Up nursing wounds after an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Cabra. His family’s home is attacked by the barbarous Hachar and his Screemers. Now’s the chance to prove himself to his doubtful father and mocking brothers, Ra’Fae and G’Ahn. The only one who believes in him is his secret admirer, the beautiful dimension hopper Delfi Matrix. Tired of his family, Mash-Up agrees to runaway with Delfi to her new, favorite place. A place of music, cuisine, and life: planet Earth.
The final story takes us to the streets of “Gold Town: A Whole Other Thing.” Gold Town is the home of pimps, prostitutes, dive bars, and living urban legends that walk the streets at night. Pete the Pimp, newly relocated to these dark streets, needs to find new employees in his escort services. But, he’s looking for love in all the wrong places, and he finds himself the target of a vengeful Mash-Up.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of voodoo and the occult used as a premise for heroics, but I do like the narrative split of the three stories. It does what a zero issue should do. It defines not just who the characters are and what motivates them, but the worlds they may inhabit and their possible adventures. Mash-Up is motivated by his family’s disapproval, and later by lost love. I can imagine him in the future staying on Earth as an urban legend, an assassin who becomes rivals (or partners?) with Cabra Cini. These other urban legends, like Mr. Reed the Zombie, can become spin-offs of their own.
Dropping the reader in and out of the stories of his contemporary characters enhances the pulp story tone. Imagine Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez telling a Sandman tale. That’s the style of Mr. Mash-Up.
The twenty-eight page black-and-white comic, written by Sam Johnson and illustrated by Bruno Letzia, Eric Lamont, and Meisha Mimotofu, is published by Actuality Press. Print issues are $3.99 and digital/Kindle editions $1.99. You can find them along with Geek-Girl #0 online at www.geekgirlcomics.com.
Suggested for mature readers.