Friday, November 1, 2013

Review - Bulletproof Chicken

"I would never let that happen, Ed. I'd die first."

If all chickens were bulletproof, it's very likely KFC wouldn't exist. Instead, we're stuck with regular chickens, all of whom would likely find a hero in Bulletproof Chicken from King Bone Press. The one-shot is written by Jon Westhoff, with art by Bobgar Orneals and Mat Nixon and colored by David Halvorson.

Bulletproof Chicken is a hard-nosed cop with a penchant for finding himself in the midst of gunfire. With his partner Ed, the duo take out one lizard gang after the next, with the current one holding Bulletproof Chicken's wife hostage. The two of them make their way in (guns blazing of course) and save her, only to end up with heavy losses in the process. Eight years and a few cybernetic enhancements later, the duo are at it again, with a few new wrinkles in their relationship.

If you've seen any Lethal Weapon film then you know what you're getting in Bulletproof Chicken. The main character is the dangerous cop who charges into situations with reckless abandon, relying on luck and grit to make it out alive. Westhoff's story plays on one of the tried and true tropes in that regard as well, with bonds of brotherhood tested by romance. The story feels a little too simplistic though in that it doesn't really give much room for the characters to make their own decisions; rather, they're moved around to satisfy the plot. The characters don't exactly need a lot of development since they're all primarily stereotypes anyway, but it makes the script feel a little hurried.

The art is sufficiently washed out and eroded to convey the tone of the story. Lizards are illustrated as henchman and dogs are shown as beat cops, all of them sufficiently anthropomorphized that you can easily follow the action. There are two artists on the work and their styles are different enough that it does present a lack of cohesion when looking at the book at a whole. Every page that features Bulletproof Chicken seems to make him stand out the most; it's as if the artists really focused on his character at the expense of everyone else. It doesn't really hurt the book, but it does contribute to the differing art styles being contrasted that much more.

Bulletproof Chicken wagers that you're familiar with action movies of the 80s that feature loose cannon cops, exaggerated villains and lots of bullets and blood. Using that as a starting point doesn't really give the book itself much room to develop into its own work, moving along at such a pace as if to hit certain high points of the genre. The ending is slightly intriguing in terms of setting up a potential follow-up issue (or miniseries). The first issue by itself though is a little lacking in character development and cohesion. It is fun to see a chicken shooting and slinging profanities though.

Bulletproof Chicken is available now and on Comixology soon.


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