Billy Declan and Elvis Chang are two cybernetically enhanced badass space mercenaries who take whatever jobs they can to pay the bills. And, they're really good at violence. Like artists with bullets, grenades, and junk shots. Only, this time it was their turn to have their butts kicked. In this issue, we join them laid low, their bodies nearly destroyed.
Enter the only people not trying to kill Billy and Elvis, their adopted daughter Luisa and her beau Victor. Long before I warmed up to the foul-mouthed humor of the boys, Luisa was what hooked me. She is, simply put, the emotional core of this series. Issue #3 showed us how she was raised. Issue #5 shows us how she takes after her dads.
Straight up, Declan and Chang is an action comic and quite a violent one, where everything from the humor to the touching moments has a connection to combat. It's rather fitting considering the characters are inspired by the Yuans' Mech Warrior RPG characters. That said, Issue #5 is hands down the least violent, foul-mouthed, and borderline sexual the series has ever been. I love a good F-word or blood splatter as much as the next girl, but Declan and Chang is a stronger comic with everything toned back. The humor's still there, the ridiculous things the characters say are still present, the violence is even still there, but it's become more about the people who inhabit this world and less about the explosions and T&A.
And then, there's Luisa. She and Victor steal the show in this issue, and not just because Billy and Elvis are down. They earn it every step of the way. The two are a gender roles non-conforming team. Victor's the doctor and the one who handles social situations. Luisa . . . . well, she's got the guns, a lot of them, and the know how to use them. Better yet, never once are Luisa's skills questioned. But, maybe that's just because she shoots anyone who gets in her way?
John Yuan does an incredible job drawing action scenes, but there are a couple of panels that are simply dripping with awesome as John shows characters ready to kick ass. They invoke that feeling where you want to press your hands against your face, squeal, and yell, “This is going to be awesome!” And, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Matt Yuan's grade-A dialogue. As always, the jokes are great, but it was the serious lines that had me most impressed, including one that had me tearing up a little.
For more info on Declan and Chang, visit their Facebook page.
Four and a Half “King Crab” Miniguns out of Five