Issue #5 of Bang!, the end of the first story arc, comes with a bang of a story change up. It wasn’t completely unexpected on my end, but I don’t think that was the point. We’re still only just getting to know our team of pop culture-inspired heroes, and throwing them too big of a curve ball would be a waste of emotional storytelling this early on. Our team includes: Thomas Cord (our nifty James Bond) who shares a history with Paige Turnier (who is a sort of 80-year-old Jessica Fletcher by way of Jacques Clouseau), Dr. Queen (a high-tech, gizmo-laden Emma Peel who relies on her suit to stay upright as her back was broken), and John McCl—ahem Shaw, John Shaw who is a riff on John McClane of the Die Hard franchise, and who, no matter where he goes, always seems to be without shoes. This is, of course, all completely bonkers and rightfully so, as a Philip K. Dickian writer named Philip Verve has assembled them to take down a worldwide evil organization called Goldmaze.
Each issue so far has focused on one of each of our four heroes. Issues 5 focuses on Philip Verve, and, boy, his story just went full Philip K. Dick. As I was saying, we don’t know our heroes quite well enough for earth-shattering dramas to occur, but what you can expect from this issue and all of the previous issues is a smart jauntiness. Kindt and Torres are having a hell of a good time putting this series together, and you can feel it when you read. It’s infectious.
What I’ve loved about Kindt’s most recent work (including Black Badge and Folk Lords) is that he’s writing stories based almost directly on things he loves which are the hokiest ’80s serial TV shows, some of which are fables deeply rooted in our subconscious, and some very relevant pop culture icons. While he’s doing it with a fondness for those stories, he’s also modernizing them in very clever and fun ways, turning age-old tropes on their craniums. Oh, this character is a known misogynist? Give him to Matt Kindt — he’ll sort it out!
Now assembled, Cord leads his heroic team into the field to stop Goldmaze from destroying everything as we know it. You’re not too many issues behind right now. I’d say it’s a good time to dive in and catch up!
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story), Wilfredo Torres (art), Nayoung Kim (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Anita Magaña (design), Ann Gray (digital technical art), Daniel Chabon (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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