‘Bullet Gal:’ Novel Review

Bullet Gal has been making appearances in Andrez Bergen’s work for a long time now. She started out as a seemingly minor character in his noir superhero novel, Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?, who turned out to be more important than you thought. She then found her way into one of his later novels, Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth, before starring in her own 12-issue comic, a prequel to Heropa. Now, Bergen has adapted that comic into its own novel, and it all comes full circle.

Basically, Bullet Gal started out as just a throwaway character, but Bergen found her too good to let go. I can’t say I blame him. I’ve been reading about her since the beginning, and every adventure, large or small, is riveting.

Heropa is a world of superheroes. Teenaged Mitzi sees this around her every day and decides she wants in on the crime-fighting action. There’s just one problem: The entire city of Heropa is a computer simulation, similar to The Matrix. The superheroes or “capes” are people who have uploaded into the simulation. Mitzi, on the other hand, is just one of the background characters.

Still, that doesn’t stop Lee from taking Mitzi under his wing. Lee’s a superhero too, only he may be more than he seems. In fact, he’s several more than he seems, as his power results in a number of exact copies of himself running around the city with their own agenda. Which ones can Mitzi trust, if any of them?

Much like the comic, the novel is told from a number of different perspectives. We begin from Mitzi/Bullet Gal’s point of view, but eventually see things through the eyes of a variety of characters, both heroes and background.

Much of the dialogue and narration is the same as in the comic, though obviously it’s been expanded a bit. Even if you’ve read the graphic novel, there’s still plenty of new and fun stuff to enjoy here. Likewise, if you end up reading this book first, you can still go back and find new and different things to enjoy about the graphic novel. It’s the same story, but what makes it stand out is the telling of it.

Andrez Bergen is a master storyteller in any medium. I’ve loved the character of Bullet Gal from the very beginning and was thrilled to have another chance to read about her adventures. This is a great read from beginning to end. If you’re a fan of noir and/or superheroes, do yourself a favor and check out Bullet Gal.

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