Bandette does not disappoint. It is phenomenal, “no?” This rhetorically wit-laden genius of a character proves that Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover can make storytelling and artwork seem easily accomplished. Bandette is the best thief in the world, and the simple fact she narrates her own action sequences shows the reader how endearing she is from the beginning.
Bandette, Volume 3: The House of the Green Mask is the absolute definition of a fun read. If you look up fun in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Bandette running across a tight-rope while mocking a rude pigeon. It’s okay, you can go and look it up. I’ll wait.
Fun. Bandette knows how to have it, and she makes sure she has her friends with her every step of the way. She has many allies, but without a doubt she is the star of the show. It’s quite possible we will never know what her greatest attribute is: her awareness of all things, her superhero-like abilities and reflexes, or her ability to multi-task. Seriously, she will fight two villains at once while making a phone call…to discuss an upcoming heist. Or maybe it’s her love of candy bars that’s greater?
This hardcover edition starts with a bang, and some arrows, and continues its entertaining pace every step of the way. There are plenty of action-packed scenes involving fights, chases, thefts, and obvious mocking of her enemies. Readers are also happy to follow along the mystery being tracked throughout this story; what and where is the “House of the Green Mask?” Fortunately, there is plenty of creativity filling these pages that makes the reader want to continue as quickly as Bandette is at changing disguises. Just to be clear, that’s pretty quick.
Tobin crafts dialogue perfectly depicting each scene. Granted, it is sometimes one-person dialogue, because Bandette loves to narrate aloud, but these moments are what make Bandette worthy and necessary of its Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic in 2013 and 2016. Tobin doesn’t just create a lovable bandit in disguise, he builds a world around her filled with evildoers, where she proves she is much more than any ordinary criminal. She is the hero for everyone.
Bandette is a comic book for many ages. As a parent of two young kiddos, I know I will have to wait a few years, but I cannot wait to let our kids read this story. The story is also matched by the outstanding illustrations by Coover. She presents Bandette, and all of the characters, with a classic look meant for all ages. Our hero is dressed in red and black, while every page has a flawless blend of colors. There aren’t any moments where a color seems off or out of place. The story and artwork, like its creators, are a perfect match.
This wonderful series is part of Dark Horse Comics. Volume 3 can be read as a standalone since background details are given throughout; however, Volume 1: Presto! and Volume 2: Stealers, Keepers! are available in print edition. Individual issues are also available in digital format.
Bandette Volume Three: The House of the Green Mask will be available on Wednesday, October 12, in its hardcover print edition.